Saturday, March 22, 2008

Texas parrots

We were having lunch at Cafe Mundi, it was just a beautiful day to be outdoors and we love that place. It's trying to hide from the gentrification going on in east Austin, but condos and matching upscale trendy development is creeping up on it. Anyway, MrB said "look at that huge nest in that cell tower." I honestly can't remember the last time I had binoculars with me, but we had gone to a concert the night before without having front row seats... so I was all set for bird-watching. Without the binoculars we couldn't have seen that there were a dozen or so green parrots flying around the big nest. (a couple of them are in the picture above right, but hard to see).

Turns out that they are Quaker parrots, a.k.a. Monk parakeets. They are originally from South America, but it's believed that the colonies in the USA are the result of pets going feral. Click [wiki Monk parakeet] to a better picture and learn more about them. I had heard they had colonies in Austin but didn't know where they were, and this location wasn't mentioned. I suppose they get around! With all the development and construction, I'll bet they have to move a lot -- and having that nest in a cell tower is not going to please certain of the powers-that-be.

More links:
Quakers in Austin (parrots not people)
Birds of a feather

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