Posts tagged with "Parakeets"

‘Tweets’ galore: 836 parakeets surrendered to Michigan rescue group

January 3, 2022

The son of an animal hoarder surrendered more than 800 parakeets to the Detroit Animal Welfare Group (DAWG), People magazine reports.

Initially, the man surrendering the birds told the Michigan shelter that he would drop off 60-80 birds. Instead, he arrived with 497 parakeets on December 23 and returned with 339 more parakeets on the day after Christmas.

“A Christmas present we were not expecting,” the Detroit Animal Welfare Group wrote on Facebook of the deliveries.

“We were in shock,” the group added, “but could not turn them away.”

Many of the parakeets arrived at the rescue in tight cages that left the birds struggling to move.

“He had them all in seven cages,” Kelly LeBonty, the group’s director, told the Detroit Free Pressabout the original condition of the 800 birds“A very tight fit. They were kind of on top of each other and smothering each other …. They were very, very stressed. They were barely moving. We had to get them out and into different cages.”

The son told the animal shelter that his father had kept the birds in one room in his home and spent more than $1,200 feeding them.

“His son said that he just wanted to breed a few of them, and it got out of control,” LeBonty explained in the Detroit Free Press article. “The problem is, birds breed easily. And then you just have more babies and more babies, and more babies, if you don’t control the situation.”

The group said on Facebook that the birds were in “a very unhealthy situation and the irresponsibility of the owner is infuriating. However, it truly takes a village to help these animals, and we are so thankful for everyone that worked together to get them the care.”

According to another Detroit Animal Welfare Group Facebook post, all of the parakeets must be deemed healthy by a veterinarian before they are put up for adoption. Once a bird passes their health check, it will be put up for adoption through one of the four rescue organizations currently housing the birds.

After what the animals have already been through, the Detroit Animal Welfare Group is grateful that many are taking the time to help the birds. The rescue has received numerous monetary donations and supplies from concerned pet lovers who are helping to keep the parakeets safe, fed, and on the road to recovery.

Research contact: @people

Free as a bird: Escaped pet parrots are thriving in the wild across 43 states

May 16, 2019

No matter how gilded the cage, sometimes a parrot—or a parakeet—just wants to spread its wings and fly. And although owners may worry when a bird goes out the window, it turns out that not only are parrots that have “liberated” themselves surviving alfresco; they’re thriving.

A new study conducted at the University of Chicago has found that 56 species of parrot— none of which is native to the United States—have been spotted in the wild in 43 states. And incredibly, of those species, nearly half have reportedly been breeding—in 23 states.

Indeed, when Stephen Pruett-Jones, PhD, an ecologist at the University of Chicago, first came to the Windy City in 1988, he stumbled on a unique piece of the city’s history—the monk parakeets of Hyde Park.

The squat, bright-green birds aren’t native to Illinois, or to the United States, at all. America. originally had two native parrot species: the Carolina parakeet and the thick-billed parrot. The Carolina parakeet is now extinct; the thick-billed parrot, a Mexican species that ranged into the southwestern states,is no longer seen north of the border.

Monk parakeets have been known to live and breed in a colony in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood since the 1960s, after a pet bird craze led to the import of thousands from South America. Many escaped their homes or were released by their owners into the concrete jungle, eventually breeding in at least 10 states by 1968.

Pruett-Jones decided to organize a lab project to count them and other parrot species nationwide. He teamed up with Jennifer Uehling, a former UChicago undergraduate student now working on a Ph,D, at Cornell University; and Jason Tallant of the University of Michigan to research data on bird sightings from 2002 to 2016..

“Many of them were escaped pets, or their owners released them because they couldn’t train them or they made too much noise — all the reasons people let pets go,” explains Pruett-Jones. “But many of these species are perfectly happy living here and they’ve established populations. Wild parrots are here to stay.”

Pruett-Jones and his team used two databases of bird sightings to track naturalized parrot species from 2002 through 2016. First, they turned to the Christmas Bird Count, an annual survey by the National Audubon Society that captures a snapshot of birds nationwide. during a two-week time period between December 14 and January 15. The second database, called eBird, is a spot where bird  watchers can log online all the bird sightings they come across.

The researchers found that the most common U.S. parrot species were the monk parakeets, the Red-crowned Amazon, and the Nanday Parakeet. Most of the birds are concentrated in the warmer climates of Florida, Texas, and California. There are significant populations also in and around large cities like New York and Chicago. The researchers estimate that there are more Red-crowned Amazons living in California now than in their original habitats in Mexico.

But there is some disturbing news: Although at one time there were about 400 monk parakeets living in the U.S., the number is believed to only be around 30 today, with the largest colony found under the Skyway bridge connecting Illinois to Indiana. Researchers say there appears to be a decline in the overall bird population in the United States., giving bird fanatics and animal advocates even more reason to protect these “escapees” from harm.

“Because of human activity transporting these birds for our own pleasure, we have inadvertently created populations elsewhere,” says Pruett-Jones. “Now for some of these parrots, they may become critical to the survival of the species.”

The study is published in the April edition of Journal of Ornithology.

Research contact: pruett-jones@uchicago.edu