Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Monk Parakeet - Myiopsitta monachus
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General Comments The Monk Parakeet is a native of South America, being found from the southern Amazon Basin to central Argentina, being most numerous probably in northeastern Argentina. There, it inhabits savannas, open forests, thorn forests, and brushy areas, placing their huge and often communal stick nests on telephone poles and other prominent sites. It has been released at several points in the United States in the past few decades and is well established in southern FL. However, it is considered as a pest in many places, as it eats much fruit in orchards and as their nests are often built on power poles. There have been a handful of sightings and photographs of the species in North Carolina, and a small breeding popluation was established in Buncombe in the 1970's. The NC BRC reviewed several reports, including a photograph, in 2012, and under new regulations, added the species to the Accepted List, in a newly created "Introduced" category.
Breeding Status Probable breeder; Introduced
NC BRC List Not Established List
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SE
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Casual, and apparent breeder. Up to two were seen in Kill Devil Hills, Dare, 19-28 Sep 2012 [Chat 77:27 link]. Several nests and a pair of adults were seen in Northwest, Brunswick, on 7-8 Jun 2014, and sightings of the pair have continued well into 2015; these birds have been seen by locals in that area for three years [Chat 78:166 link].
Piedmont Casual visitor, and possible former breeder. A nest-building bird was photographed at Farmington, Davie, on 6 Aug 2008. One was reported at Raleigh on 21 Aug 1975.
Mountains Casual visitor, and accidental breeder. The species bred for several years in Buncombe in the 1970's, and one was seen near Asheville on 27 Aug 1978. Most unusual at such a high elevation were two birds at a nest in Newland (Avery), 16 Feb 2016; residents in the area have observed the birds in that area since Apr 2015 [Chat 80:89 link].
Finding Tips The pair in Brunswick County have been fairly reliably seen for well over a year, and this is the best place where a birder can expect to see the species at the present time. However, the Avery birds have been observed by several people in 2016.
Attribution LeGrand[2018-02-01], LeGrand[2016-09-29], LeGrand[2015-10-02]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.