Quaker parrot, Quaker parakeet, Cliff parakeet, Grey-breasted parakeet
The Monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) is a small species of true parrot in the family Psittacidae. It is native to the temperate to subtropical areas of Argentina and the surrounding countries in South America. Self-sustaining feral populations occur in many places, mainly in North America and Europe; there they live in urban areas and pose a risk to crops and even native bird species.
The Monk parakeet has bright-green upperparts. The forehead and breast are pale gray with darker scalloping and the rest of the underparts are very light-green to yellow. The remiges are dark blue, and the tail is long and tapering. The bill is orange in color.
Monk parakeets are found in Argentina and the surrounding countries in South America. Self-sustaining feral populations have been recorded in several U.S. states and various regions of Europe. They live in semi-arid savannas, and woodlands and are well-adapted to urban areas.
Monk parakeets are highly gregarious birds that live and nest in colonies. They are diurnal and spend most of the day foraging and preening each other. To get their food these energetic birds climb among branches using their beaks or may drop to the ground to pick seeds or fallen berries. At dusk, they come back to their communal roost site to sleep. Monk parakeets are very noisy. Their call is a loud and throaty 'chape(-yee)' or 'quak quaki quak-wi quarr' and they also use 'skveet' screeches.
Monk parakeets are herbivores (granivores). They mainly eat seeds of various plants and will also consume fruits, berries, leaf buds, blossoms, nuts, and insects.
Monk parakeets are monogamous and form strong long-lasting pair bonds. They breed between October and February. These birds build a stick nest, in a tree or on a man-made structure, rather than using a hole in a tree. They often breed colonially, building a single large nest with separate entrances for each pair. Females lay 5 to 12 white eggs which usually hatch in about 24 days. The chicks are altricial; they hatch blind and are covered in yellowish down. Both parents feed their young until they are ready to leave the nest which usually occurs at 40-50 days after hatching. Reproductive maturity is reached when young birds are 2 years old.
Monk parakeets are widespread and abundant throughout their range. They are not considered threatened, however, in some areas, these birds are often persecuted as an agricultural pest.
According to the All About Birds resource, the total breeding population size of the Monk parakeet is 20 million birds. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List, and their numbers today are increasing.