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Wild Monk Parrots of Nola

New Orleans, LA(Zone 8b)

Hi all! I just discovered this forum, and was wondering if anyone had any advice.

I live in New Orleans (Uptown), and pre-Katrina we had some wild parrots around, and after the storm they've multiplied like crazy. We've got bunches around the neighborhood now. In particular, they like this damaged tree that's in the yard behind ours; Katrina stripped the leaves and killed the branch, so they can see far and wide. What we'd like to do is lure them closer- not to trap them of course, but just to watch them.

We've put out a larger feeder with parrot food, fruit treats, etc. Any other suggestions would be truly appreciated. I even talked to the chick (har har) at PetCo about this, and she looked at me like I was crazy. "You know, we sell those birds. You could walk out of here with it right now and not worry about those wild ones..." lol

If you want to see more pics, I've got a bunch on my blog- http://noteworthyinnola.com

Thumbnail by TessC
Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

They're Monk Parakeets.

Resin

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

You gotta give the "pet store chick" credit for trying to sell you one. Good employee! That is funny.
I know lots of people have these as pets, but I like to see that they are wild and free someplace. What a great experience you are having.

New Orleans, LA(Zone 8b)

Exactly; they're definately Monk Parakeets/ Quaker Parrot.

According to the research I'd done about the breed, they're known by both names, and there's lots of info about the pet variety of these birds, but other than their probable origins, not a lot about the wild variety.

No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

Tess,

How fun. What you might try is to put the food in the tree first. Let them get used to it being there and knowing that you won't threaten them. Then start moving it slowly to where you can observe them better - they just might follow the food.

Quaker parrots are communal and will build amazing nests if allowed to - a lot of people consider them pests, but I guess it depends on the circumstances.

The thing with parrots is patience and gentleness - did I say patience? lol

Check these links if you haven't seen them already:

http://www.brooklynparrots.com/

http://www.quakerville.com/

http://www.quakerville.com/WildQ/index.asp

I'd love to hear more about your experience with them. Keep us posted!

Kathleen
A parrot mom.

Melbourne, FL

This morning I got a shot of one of the wild parrots that live around here. Story is a pair got away from a beachside pet shop over ten years ago and started breeding. Whether that is true I don't know, but there are a total of around a dozen in a flock that roam around this area.

Thumbnail by gardenpom
New Orleans, LA(Zone 8b)

Thanks for all the info, Kathleen!

Unfortunately, I cannot get to the tree- the branches are well over the 2nd story rooftops, and the tree is in an 'unfriendly' neighbor's yard. (I'm on the board of the neighborhood association, and when the police showed up to ask questions about the mother beating on the toddler, they decided that either I or the association reported them. If I had known, I would have! But alas, I didn't know, so it wasn't me.)

So I have to work from within my yard, which is surrounded by a 10ft high wall. I've been asking around, and someone told me where a bunch of them keep their nests, so I'm going to wander over there and try to see it later on- it's supposed to be quite a sight!

I'll see if I can find a wider shot of the tree, but for now here's a bunch of them on the wires.

Thumbnail by TessC
New Orleans, LA(Zone 8b)

Here's one of the tree; you can see the apex of the roof behind it to get an idea of the size.

I think they like the view because they can see what's headed their way- there are a few hawks around and it's my understanding that they'll hunt the parrots.

Thumbnail by TessC
New Orleans, LA(Zone 8b)

wow, your parrots look a lot different from ours- much deeper colors- beautiful!

No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

Neighbors...don't you wish we could choose them? The only other thing I can think of is to raise your feeding station on a pole in the middle of your yard so they notice it. Now this will sound crazy, but you could also put a stuffed quaker toy in the feeder like it is eating. I don't give up easily! lol

We put a photo of our our third bird on the wall by our other parrots and talked to it while she was in quarantine. When she moved in to the house, they were ready for her. And our littlest bird talks to pictures of birds of his species in magazines. Parrots will often react to stuffed birds.

Otherwise, just enjoy them where you see them and be thankful you don't have the mess right in your yard! :-) I remember seeing a tree that had to be removed because of their nesting - the nests weighed hundreds of pounds.

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Quoting:
there are a few hawks around and it's my understanding that they'll hunt the parrots

They'll try, but without much success - parrots in general tend to be long-lived, and hard for predators to catch

Resin

Marlton, NJ

Gardenpoms might be a Blue headed Conure.

Tess do you also have a bird bath in your yard?

From another parrot Mom.

No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

Resin, I was going to disagree, but you're probably right. We hear about hawks around here taking parrots - even small dogs - but we still have flocks of feral birds. Many pet birds have clipped wings or don't know how to fly. These feral birds, though, have grown up being chased and I'm sure are better equipped to survive. I remember our TV weatherman saying his African Grey had been plucked off a wall in the garden by a hawk - while he stood there helpless to stop it.

Unfortunately, our pet birds still have the instinctive fear without the confidence and get very nervous when the hawks are hunting. The shadows they cast when they go over the house are huge. My husband was out in the yard the other day and a hawk nearly dove into the ground within 6-8 feet of him trying to catch "something." DH is over 6ft tall, and the hawk was not in the least deterred.

Pelletory, I think you're right - the beak and white eye ring are clues. http://www.petstation.com/bcconur1.html

Frankfort, KY

I have a rescue Quaker. When a retired fireman discovered one in his backyard he called me as he knows I rescue pet birds. Apparently it was someone's pet because it was very friendly and talked, although not as distinctly as some parrots. That was five years ago and I still have it. In KY it is against the law to sell them as they eat crops when let loose.

Marlton, NJ

Yes I think there are a number of states where their illegal. I believe Pa. is another one of those..

New Orleans, LA(Zone 8b)

I'll have to be extra nice to DH before talking about the pole thing...lol...

LOVE the stuffed parrot idea- I was actually thinking that I could download parrot sounds from the internet and play them back by the feeder. They're so loud I'm sure they'll at least hear it. (Actually, that's one of the things I told the pet store woman- could be why she was looking at me so strangely. ;) )

As far as the hawks, I've seen the parrots startle and quickly vacate the area when they're around, but thankfully I've never seen the hawks with caught prey of any variety. That's one mess I *really* don't need in the yard.

I do have a hanging birdbath- I'll get a shot of it in the morning and you can tell me if you think it's big enough for them. It's hanging on the biggest crook we could find- we have cats, and occasionally they get ambitious and jump at the chickadees.

I've got to go to the Ace Hardware tomorrow, which is across the street from where they nest. I'll try to get a pic of that, too.

And thank you, thank you for all your input!

No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

Broadcasting sounds is an interesting idea. What do pet store people know, anyway? lol

If you have water of any kind out, it's probably enough for the little fellows, but can they see it? We noticed we get a lot more birds to our baths if they are fed by drip so that the water moves. It can be as simple as hanging a bottle with a tube so that it drips in the bath. Not sure how much quakers like water. I've seen a hummingbird bathe in a dewy rose, so they don't need much if they really want it, but they need some sort of attraction.

I'm enjoying your adventure. Can't wait to see the nest.

New Orleans, LA(Zone 8b)

Got a few pics of the really huge nest- it's in/on/around a broadcast tower on Magazine Street. It's hard to get an idea of the size, but massive would not be overstating. I'll have to go at dawn or dusk to get detail- it's just too hot & hazy for the camera to get detail at this distance.

I edited a closeup- black and white at least shows a little more of what's up there.

Thumbnail by TessC
Whidbey Island, WA(Zone 7a)

I just discovered this thread - fascinating!!!!! What delightful birds - please keep us posted on your success in luring them to your yard.

Sorry about your neighbors - wish they'd take the child away from the mother before it's too late. Happens all too often.

New Orleans, LA(Zone 8b)

Whooops! Forgot to post the closeup! Must be time for that 2nd cup of coffee...

Thumbnail by TessC
Melbourne, FL

What a tremendous nest! Surprised but pleased it has been left there.

Whidbey Island, WA(Zone 7a)

Wow - amazing!

New Orleans, LA(Zone 8b)

The tower they've adopted? It's for radio for the blind! I think sometimes they wish it was for the deaf (okay, radio for the deaf doesn't exactly make sense, but c'mon, it's funny anyway... )

They're a nonprofit organization that reads newspapers, books, even grocery store circulars so those who can't can stay up to date. Somehow, I doubt people who'd go to all that trouble would harm the nest. (Or at least really hope not!)

Melbourne, FL

I meant I was surprised the higher powers have not torn the nest down from the tower....hopefully it is not hurting anything and will be left intact. Yes, they sound like great people who probably enjoy hosting the parrots. Wonderful shots.

This message was edited Jun 13, 2007 10:49 AM

No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

Oh, dear, I do hope they can leave it there without damage to the tower. We can only imagine what they look like in the wild - tree after tree with these huge nests in them? Wow.

Marlton, NJ

Holy Moly; that is some nest!

Beachwood, NJ(Zone 6b)

Huge!

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Can't see that being left there much longer - it makes the tower a hazard, as a storm acting on the extra weight and wind resistance could easily bring the whole tower down (and also a serious fire hazard in a thunderstorm). It is probably only there because, being a charity without a lot of resources, they probably can't afford to get someone up there to do the clearance. But they won't want to get stuck without a transmitter, either.

Resin

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

I was wondering. Are these guys noisy? I would think they could create quite a racket. Some nature sounds are soothing, then there is this baby crow out in the woods that sounds like a mad baby, complete with temper tantrums. It is actually funny. (because we cannot hear it from the house)
What do they sound like?

Frankfort, KY

Yes, they are very noisy.

No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

Here you go - http://www.brooklynparrots.com/2005/03/brooklyn-parrots-speak-out.html

All parrots are noisy - the more, the noisier. These guys seem to chatter and squeak a lot. It doesn't sound bad to me, but then, you should have heard my girls this morning! Sounded like they were being murdered - but they were just playing and talking loudly to each other. Well, they were screaming to be honest. :-)

KyJoy and I cross posted - I take it you have personal knowledge? lol I wouldn't want that nest parked over my house, that's for sure.

This message was edited Jun 13, 2007 12:20 PM

New Orleans, LA(Zone 8b)

LOUD LOUD LOUD...lol... I found this on youtube, but I think it was shot from some distance away, because they're considerably louder than the tape shows.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmFEje9fFqw

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

LOL,
Everyone who visits here says how quiet and relaxing it is...I say what? I can't hear you over the geese, birds, jays, frogs, owls, blue heron,etc. They laugh and say its a different noise. We do have to sometimes shut the window on nature, to get some sleep. I still prefer geese honking to cars!
Kaperc....sounds like you have your own personal wildlife!

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4a)

On a related subject, I recommend the movie "Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill", a sweet documentary about parrots in San Francisco.

Susan in Minneapolis

New Orleans, LA(Zone 8b)

I'm not horribly motivated to work this afternoon, so I decided to call the radio station and ask them how they felt about it.

They said that the nest has been there for years, though it's now much larger than it's ever been, tho of course the birds had to start from scratch after Katrina, rebuilding like the rest of us.

The woman I spoke to seemed generally unconcerned about the added weight to the tower and said she's sure it's been checked for stability when they service it. She said she didn't know for certain, as she's not in charge of that, but management is happy to have the parrots around, so she assumes they're not putting undo strain on anything.

New Orleans, LA(Zone 8b)

Susan- very sweet movie, although I was a total wreck at the end...

Frankfort, KY

Quakers make good pets and can be taught to talk, however, I wouldn't want more than one. Mine is in a cage with another rescue bird, a ringneck. The quaker's name is Polly although he is a boy. He is the leader of the flock (I have seven birds presently.) When they need seed or water he hollers, "Polly wants a cracker" and squawks until you come see what he or one of the other birds needs.. If one of them needs water, he has taught them to knock their water bottle down. Very smart bird.

No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

You have to admit - they are cute little fellas (and girls!). Of course, I'm a sucker for parrots - there's something to be said for feathered friends that greet you every day with an enthusiastic "Good Morning!" and don't care how your hair looks. lol

Cpartschick, yes, we do. And I agree about geese vs. horns, too! We have a peacock nearby, another neighbor has geese and chickens, and across the road there is a donkey; every time she brays I smile. :-)

Metairie, LA

I found this thread by accident. I have a thread on the Bird Watching forum about the monks in Metairie. I see nests all over the area and have recently attracted them to my bird feeders in the backyard. I love to watch them interact in the flock - talk to each other, warn each other, preen each other, etc. It's fun seeing them wild. I assume you live around the Garden district since you mentioned Magazine. I've seen the parrots in the French Quarter -- on Royal Street nesting in the big palm trees across the street from the police station there.

New Orleans, LA(Zone 8b)

I'm in the Irish Channel- the wrong side of the tracks to the Garden District...lol...

Can you give me any tips? What did you do that caught their interest? I've been really busy and haven't been playing with different treats, so if you could give me the inside scoop, I'd be thrilled!

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