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Accounts of e X tinct Species. Carolina Parakeet. (Conuropsis carolinensis). Formerly common from New York to Florida east of the Great Planes.

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Accounts of e X tinct Species

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Carolina Parakeet

(Conuropsis carolinensis)

Formerly common from New York to Florida east of the Great Planes

The last two individuals resided in the Cincinnati Zoo for about 35 years. “LadyJane” died in the summer of 1917, leaving her mate, “Incas” listless and mournful. He died February 21, 1918

Extinction file - Carolina Parakeet


Head to tail length of about 12 inches

Extinction file - Carolina Parakeet


They lived colonially, building stick nests used by multiple individuals

Females laid 1-3 eggs which were incubated communally

Extinction file - Carolina Parakeet


They occupied “bottom land hardwoods” often associated with natural openings

Extinction file - Carolina Parakeet


They foraged in a groups, feeding on a variety of “tough-shelled” seeds, from plants such as cocklebur, pine, cypress, beech and maple

As land was cleared for human agricultural purposes the species switched food habits, eating grain crops and orchard fruits

Extinction file - Carolina Parakeet


Thus, they fell under intense human predation and by 1890 the species was quite uncommon

At this time collectors eagerly caught the few remaining birds for museum collections and zoo displays


Enter the Monk Parakeet

(Myiopsitta monachus)

Hi Sparky!


Native to Argentina where it is considered an Agricultural pest

Imported to the U.S. by way of the pet trade-

between 1960-72 over 100,000 were legally imported.


Breeding colonies now found in about 8 states and isolated birds have been sited in at least 20 more states


Monk Parakeet nesting behind a satellite dish under the EL Train in Chicago- at least 7 birds visible


Communal stick nests of the Monk Parakeet. Besides the Carolina Parakeet, the Monk is the only species of parrot to build such nests


By the early 1970’s approximately 200 birds had become established in the city of New York

At this time, a “retrival program” was initiated and local populations were either eradicated or greatly reduced, but……….

This communal nest was about 10 ft x 6ft x 4 ftand estimated to weigh 500 lbs.


Ain’t they sweet! Two Monk Parakeets in their nest, located in a palm tree in Florida, where feral populations may exceed 25,000 and have an average doubling time of about 4.8 years