Monk Parakeets tend to choose unexpected locations to call home

Our Fine Feathered Friends

7ea3e69a4d6991ee264939d8481cfbb0 A painting of the now-extinct Carolina Parakeet by early naturalist Alexander Wilson.

What do birders miss when they look back on some of the avian potential lost before Americans became more protective of their wildlife? Obviously, we lament the loss of birds like the ivory-billed woodpecker or the great auk. Losses of bird life in the Hawaiian islands have been staggering. We also lost tiny birds — dusky seaside sparrow and Bachman’s warbler — that would have gone unnoticed by most people.

I’m confident we mourn the loss of some of the most abundant birds to ever roam the continent. One such bird was the now-extinct Carolina parakeet. Many people don’t realize that North America was once home to its own species of parakeet. A few individuals — all that remained of once massive flocks of colorful, noisy native parakeets — made it into the 20th century. The last specimen…

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