Just before Thanksgiving, Marie Winn posted an article detailing the discovery of Monk Parakeets on Amsterdam Avenue by Rebekah Creshkoff. Donna Browne followed up with pictures and a few reports on her blog last week.
Brooklyn has had Monk Parakeets (aka, Quaker Parakeets, Myiopsitta monachus) for decades. Steve Baldwin's website, www.brooklynparrots.com documents their history in the city.
Monk Parakeets are native to South America, and there feral populations in North America are controversial. A good discussion of the issues can be found at the Institute for Biological Invasions.
I arrived around 11:30 to find lots of nest building activity taking place. The nest is below a window air conditioner and is occupied by a pair of Monk Parakeets.
There is a fire escape a few feet away and the birds stop there on their way into the nest.
A great number of tree branches were broken off and taken to the nest.
Monk Parakeets are the only parrots that build woven nests with branches.
This was no casual nest building, but a full scale project.
For about fifteen minutes the nest building was interrupted for berry picking.
This was a neat discovery. The berry was picked from the tree by the stem and then eaten!
A brief rest before going back to nest building.
Breaking a branch.
Weaving a branch into the nest.
Bringing home a large twig.
Need help sweetheart?
Back to solo work.
Taking another break from nest building. (By the way, don't worry about these Parakeets this winter. There is a feral population of Monk Parakeets in Chicago!)