Winthrop is for the birds - exotic birds that build large nests
Mary Ellen journeyed way up to Winthrop today to see if she could get a gander at the monk parakeets that seems to have taken up housekeeping there - to the point of building a large nest on a utility pole at Winthrop Beach, across from the Five Sisters. She reports they weren't hard to find.
Monk parakeets are native to Argentina, but, of course, they've been imported as pets here, then escaped. In 2010, a pair started a nest in East Boston, but the nest was found abandoned the next year, according to the Massachusetts Audubon Society.
More photos of the Winthrop monk parakeets from eBird.
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Somebody's former pet? Can
Somebody's former pet? Can they survive after summer? Glad it's out of a cage for now and being a bird.
They'll be fine
There's a flock of parakeets in Rhode Island that have been going since 1973:
Monk parakeets seem like very
Monk parakeets seem like very urban birds. Even when there's lots of room to spread out, they build communal nests. The Bronx Zoo has a flock in an aviary with mesh walls and a mesh roof. The parakeets built their nest at the very top of the cage, and then a wild flock started nesting on the aviary roof, directly above the caged parakeets.
And under the cover of that two-part nest
they're probably working on breaking through the mesh.
Do Monk Parakeets
burn incense and meditate?
Monk Parakeets have established large feral populations in urban and suburban areas throughout the world. They are originally from southern South America, and are thus more a temperate-zone or subtropical species, rather than a tropical one, like most other parrots. In the US there are large populations in Florida and Texas, and one famous colony in Chicago. They build large communal nests that help them survive cold weather. There are populations in Brooklyn and in Rhode Island; maybe climate change is leading them to look into ocean-view real estate in Massachusetts.
I saw one on the Dorchester
I saw one on the Dorchester/Mattapan line a few years ago and another one in a tree outside the "Hair It Is" barbershop near Morton Street. I thought I had lost my mind at the time.
Hyde Park (Chicago) Nest
We lived a couple of blocks from that nest (which was across the street from then-Mayor Washington's apartment). From year to year it just kept getting bigger and bigger. Then, it disappeared. Presumably the birds were all destroyed -- because these were classified as agricultural pests in Illinois and downstate farmers were worried that these urban troublemakers might involve their fields.