Monk Parakeets Colonise Connecticut
Mirroring a similar situation in London and the Home Counties, the well-to-do northeastern US state of Connecticut (just to the north of New York City) is experiencing a rise in the population of wild monk parakeets along its shoreline. These beautiful birds are native to South America but after large-scale shipping of parakeets-as-pets in the 1960s, a population of wild birds – presumably born from escaped or unwanted birds – has begun to flourish. Some flocks actually now range now range from Maine to the Great Lakes to the West Coast.
Milan Bull, senior director of Science and Conservation for the Connecticut Audubon Society, says stories ranging from truckloads of parakeets overturning to broken crates at JFK airport are all "more like urban legend" at this point, but what is clear is that "it started from the pet trade...maybe someone just opened a window and let their pet out." The nests have also, notoriously, caused other concerns – just like in England.
"They are controversial because a small number of them nest where they shouldn't nest," Bull says, noting that some parakeet colonies seem to prefer nesting on top of electric pylons.