Monk Parakeet

Monk Parakeet

Quaker parrot, Quaker parakeet, Cliff parakeet, Grey-breasted parakeet

Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Myiopsitta monachus
Population size
20 mln
Life Span
20-30 yrs
WEIGHT
90-120 g
LENGTH
29 cm
WINGSPAN
48 cm

The Monk parakeet is a small, bright-green parrot with a greyish breast and greenish-yellow abdomen. It originates from the temperate to subtropical areas of South America. Self-sustaining feral colonies of these colorful birds 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.

Di

Diurnal

He

Herbivore

Gr

Granivore

Ar

Arboreal

Al

Altricial

Te

Terrestrial

Ov

Oviparous

Mo

Monogamy

Fl

Flocking

Co

Colonial

Hi

Highly social

No

Not a migrant

M

starts with

Ch

Chatterboxes
(collection)

Distribution

Geography

Monk parakeets are found in Argentina and the surrounding countries in South America. They live in semi-arid savannas, woodlands and are well adapted to urban areas.

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

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.

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition

Monk parakeets are herbivores (granivores). They mainly eat seeds of various plants and will also consume fruits, berries, leaf buds, blossoms, nuts, and insects.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
INCUBATION PERIOD
24 days
INDEPENDENT AGE
40-50 days
FEMALE NAME
hen
MALE NAME
cock
BABY NAME
chick
BABY CARRYING
5-12 eggs

Monk parakeets are monogamous and form strong long-lastin 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 that usually occurs at 40-50 days after hatching. Reproductive maturity is reached when young birds are 2 years old.

Population

Population threats

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.

Population number

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.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • The genus name of the Monk parakeet combines the Ancient Greek 'mus, muos' meaning 'mouse' and the New Latin 'psitta' meaning 'parrot', alluding to the mouse-grey face and underparts. The specific epithet 'monachus' comes from Late Latin and means a "monk".
  • The Monk parakeet is the only parrot that builds a stick nest instead of using tree cavities.
  • Unusually for a parrot, Monk parakeet pairs occasionally have helper individuals, often grown offspring, which assist with feeding the chicks.
  • In the wild, Monk parakeet may nest in such large colonies with pairs occupying separate "apartments" in nests that can reach the size of a small automobile. These nests can attract many other tenants including birds of prey such as the spot-winged falconet, ducks such as the yellow-billed teal, and even mammals.
  • Monk parakeets are highly intelligent, social birds. When kept in captivity they can learn to mimic human speech.

References

1. Monk Parakeet on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monk_parakeet
2. Monk Parakeet on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/45427277/132189848
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/705765

More Fascinating Animals to Learn About