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Feral parrot

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Feral rose-ringed parakeet, Psittacula krameri on a bird feeder in Wimbledon, London

A feral parrot is a parrot that has adapted to life in an ecosystem to which it is not native. The birds are often descended from pets that have escaped or been deliberately released. Many species of parrots are highly social, and like to gather in large flocks. Not all feral parrots are able to adapt to life outside of captivity, although having a pre-existing nearby parrot colony can assist with the adaptation process.

Feral parrots may become invasive species that affect native biodiversity, human economy and wellness.[1] They are present in many countries, including in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and in the Middle East.

Parrots living in non-native environments


Rainbow lorikeet


Native to the eastern seaboard of mainland Australia, several feral colonies of rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus) have been established in Perth, Western Australia,[2] Tasmania,[3] and Auckland, New Zealand. They are considered to be an invasive species as they outcompete native birds for food and nest hollows, carry disease and can breed prolifically, producing up to three broods of eggs in one breeding season. Native threatened species such as the stitchbird and kākā in New Zealand and the swift parrot in Tasmania may be at risk of contracting diseases from or being outcompeted by the invasive lorikeets. They also pose an economic threat to the horticultural industry as they damage soft fruits such as grapes and apples.[3][4]

Eastern rosella


The eastern rosella (Platycercus eximius) has become naturalized in the North Island of New Zealand.[5]

Rose-ringed parakeet


Native to India, Sri Lanka and parts of Africa, sizeable populations of naturalized rose-ringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri) exist around the world. They can be found in England, the Netherlands, Belgium and along the river Rhine in Germany. The largest UK roost of these is thought to be in Esher, Surrey, numbering several thousand. Feral rose-ringed parakeets also occur in the United States, South Africa, Egypt (resident, breeding all over Giza territory in June), Israel (with many seasonally present in Yarkon Park in North Tel Aviv), Lebanon, UAE and Oman. There are also several populations in Istanbul, Turkey, both on the European side where they can be seen in Gülhane Park, Yıldız Park and Eyüp, and on the Anatolian side. It can also be found in Japan.[6][7][8]



Also found in the United States are various naturalized Brotogeris species, mainly B. versicolurus (canary-winged parakeet) and B. chiriri (yellow-chevroned parakeet). Myiopsitta monachus (Monk parakeet) are found in some coastal areas of the East Coast from Florida to coastal Connecticut, in parts of the lower Great Lakes near Chicago, and in parts of Texas.[9][10] A population of naturalized peach-faced lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis) is found in Phoenix, Arizona.

The population of red-masked parakeets that have gone feral in San Francisco have become famous through a book and film that have been made about them.

Several species, including red-lored parrots (Amazona autumnalis), lilac-crowned parrots (Amazona finschi) and yellow-chevroned parakeets (Brotogeris chiriri), have become well established in Southern California, and in San Francisco's Telegraph Hill area there is a population of mainly red-masked or cherry-headed parakeets, a female mitred parakeet (and thus several inter-specific hybrids), as depicted in the documentary The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. In the greater San Francisco Bay Area, there are several populations of red-masked parakeets, including in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Sunnyvale.

A breeding population of the blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna), has been present in east-central Miami-Dade County, Florida since the mid-1980s. They are often sighted in the city of Miami in parks, and are a frequent visitor to University of Miami campus and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida.

The Belmont Heights District in Long Beach, California, is also known to have many species of feral parrots, which have become local icons to the citizens of the area. They are known for their loud noises as well as their large communities. These parrots can be found roosting mostly on Ocean Boulevard between Livingston Drive and Redondo Avenue in palm trees.

The San Gabriel Valley in California has a large non-indigenous population of naturalized parrots. According to the Parrot Project of Los Angeles,[11] the parrots are of at least five species.[12] Residents have come to enjoy the birds as part of their city's culture,[13][14] and like other Southern California residents they have become "local icons" to the citizens there.[15] Many theories surround the mystery of how the parrots landed in Pasadena and claimed the area as their home.[16] A widely accepted story is that they were part of the stock that were set free for their survival from the large pet emporium at Simpson's Garden Town on East Colorado Boulevard, which burned down in 1959.[12][17]

Malibu, California has populations of black hooded or Nanday Parakeet (Nandayus nenday), lilac crowned amazon parrots (Amazona finschi), red-crowned amazon parrots (Amazona viridigenalis), and mitred parakeets (Aratinga mitrata).

The orange-winged amazon (Amazona amazonica) has been introduced to Tenerife in the Canary Islands, where it has been observed successfully hybridizing with a feral scaly-headed parrot (Pionus maximiliani) and also attempting to breed with feral monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) and rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri), even involving itself in the former species' unusual nest-building behaviour.[18]

Lists of feral parrot species by continent


North America

Feral peach-faced lovebirds eating seeds from a garden feeder in Scottsdale, Arizona
A feral parrot in San Francisco California
A red-masked parakeet in San Francisco, California

South America


Note: Species found as introduced to the State of Rio de Janeiro, outside their historical ranges;[22] further research can detect other species in other regions.







New Zealand




Middle East




Feral parrot flocks can be formed after mass escapes of newly imported, wild-caught parrots from airports or quarantine facilities. Large groups of escapees have the protection of a flock and possess the skills to survive and breed in the wild. Some feral parakeets may have descended from escaped zoo birds.

Escaped or released pets rarely contribute to establishing feral populations. Escapes typically involve only one or a few birds at a time, so the birds do not have the protection of a flock and often do not have a mate. Most captive-born birds do not possess the necessary survival skills to find food or avoid predators and often do not survive long without human caretakers. However, in areas where there are existing feral parrot populations, escaped pets may sometimes successfully join these flocks.

The most common era or years that feral parrots were released to non-native environments was from the 1890s to the 1940s, during the wild-caught parrot era.

In the psittacosis "parrot fever" panic of 1930, "One city health commissioner urged everyone who owned a parrot to wring its neck. People abandoned their pet parrots on the streets."[30]

See also



  1. ^ Menchetti, Mattia; Mori, Emiliano (2014). "Worldwide impact of alien parrots (Aves Psittaciformes) on native biodiversity and environment: a review". Ethology Ecology & Evolution. 26 (2–3): 172–194. Bibcode:2014EtEcE..26..172M. doi:10.1080/03949370.2014.905981. S2CID 84294580.
  2. ^ Chapman, Tamra. (2006). "The status, impact and management of the feral Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus moluccanus) in south-west Western Australia". Eclectus 16-17: 17-18.
  3. ^ a b "Rainbow Lorikeet". Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. Retrieved 11 December 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Rainbow lorikeet". Department of Conservation. New Zealand. Retrieved 11 December 2023.
  5. ^ Falla, R. A.; Sibson, R. B.; Turbot, E. G. (1966). A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. London: Collins. ISBN 0-00-212022-4.
  6. ^ Gardener, Alice Feral parakeets March 19, 2009 Japan Times Retrieved March 2, 2017
  7. ^ Brooks, Raglan Tokyo's Got a Parrot Problem November-December 2014 Auburn Retrieved March 2, 2017
  8. ^ Kail, Ellyn EERIE PHOTOS OF FERAL PARROTS IN TOKYO August 22, 2014 Featureshoot Retrieved March 2, 2017
  9. ^ Baldwin, Steve (March 20, 2005). "What are Wild Parrots Doing in Brooklyn?". BrooklynParrots.com.
  10. ^ Avery, Michael L.; Lindsay, James R. "Monk Parakeets" (PDF). U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services. Retrieved 11 December 2023.
  11. ^ Mabb, Karen T. (Jan–Feb 2001). "Researching Parrots in the Wilds of California's Suburban Jungles". AFA Watchbird.
  12. ^ a b "Pasadena Facts". City of Pasadena. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  13. ^ "Sunday Spectrum: Pasadena's Parrots". Pasadena Views. 21 March 2010.
  14. ^ "The Parrots of Pasadena". SoCalRunning.com. 18 January 2008.
  15. ^ "Pasadena Parrots". Weird California. 15 November 2006.
  16. ^ "Parrots? Wild in Pasadena? ...Yep!". Scott's L.A. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  17. ^ "Wild Parrots Crowd Other Birds in L.A." ABC News. 20 November 2011.
  18. ^ a b c d Hernández-Brito, Dailos (18 March 2021). "Mate shortage in exotic parrots". British Ornithologists' Union. Ibis. doi:10.1111/ibi.12936. S2CID 233929115. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  19. ^ "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Chestnut-fronted Macaw". iucnredlist.org. IUCN Red List. March 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2020. Extant & Introduced: United States
  20. ^ a b c d Menchetti, Mattia; Mori, Emiliano; Angelici, Francesco Maria (2016). Effects of the recent world invasion by ring-necked parakeets Psittacula krameri. Springer International Publishin. pp. 253–266. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-22246-2_12. ISBN 978-3-319-22246-2.
  21. ^ Avery, Michael L.; Lindsay, James R. "Monk Parakeets" (PDF). U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services. Retrieved 11 December 2023.
  22. ^ Pereira, José Felipe Monteiro (2008). Aves e Pássaros comuns do Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Tachnical Books. pp. 63, 66, 68. ISBN 978-8-561-36800-5.
  23. ^ Ancillotto, Leonardo; Strubbe, Diederik; Menchetti, Mattia; Mori, Emiliano (2015). "An overlooked invader? Ecological niche, invasion success and range dynamics of the Alexandrine parakeet in the invaded range" (PDF). Biological Invasions. 18 (2): 1–13. doi:10.1007/s10530-015-1032-y. hdl:10067/1292210151162165141. ISSN 1573-1464. S2CID 17533751.
  24. ^ "Stuttgart Amazon Parrots - City Parrots -". cityparrots.org.
  25. ^ a b c "Distribution of sulphur-crested cockatoos, galahs and eastern rosellas".
  26. ^ "Crimson rosella". New Zealand Birds Online. Retrieved 11 December 2023.
  27. ^ Wu, Venus (8 May 2019). "How an endangered cockatoo took over Hong Kong". Goldthread. South China Morning Post. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  28. ^ "Trichoglossus haematodus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2023.
  29. ^ "Red-breasted Parakeet". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2023.
  30. ^ Lepore, Jill (1 June 2009). "It's Spreading". The New Yorker. New York. pp. 27–29. Retrieved 13 September 2011.