Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Quaker Parakeet

Did you know that these cute little birds are banned in some states? They are considered a menace to crops and a "dangerous species" on unfounded fears that have never come true in the thirty years that this has been a feared creature. In their native habitat of South America, these birds do indeed eat crops and make trouble for the people who are trying to make a living through farming. However, here in the United States, all these little parrots are guilty of is coexisting with the wildlife in urban areas of the country where flocks have been established. It was once rumored that this parrots would push out the native species in our country by taking up prime nesting sites, however, these adaptable little critters are the only species of parrot that can make their own nest. Although their choice of placing those nests on power transformers isn't the best for the power companies, these smart birds put their nests where they and their young can stay the warmest even in the coldest conditions.
However, this does not seem to stop lawmakers from not only allowing companies to exterminate these birds through tearing down their nests and gassing the young birds in their nests. There are organizations out there willing and ready to finish raising the young ones and finding suitable homes for them. The same organizations are working to create nest boxes at similar height and warmth as the transformer nests the birds currently reside in to help the birds move from a potential dangerous nesting site. However, not only are those laws in place for the feral quaker parakeets, but in some states, even owning one of this birds is illegal and the bird could be taken from the owner and euthanized. Responsible bird owners know that the release of a parrot kept in a home for any length of time would be death to the parrot because they do not know how to forage for themselves or discern which foods are good and which are poisonous. What should keep the lawmakers from allowing this very smart parrot from enriching the lives of those people whom they call flock? I guess I'll never understand.

For more information on the Quaker Parakeet, the Quaker Parakeet Society has wonderful information, ways to volunteer, and even a publication devoted soley to quakers.

To learn more about feral quakers, the Brooklyn Parrots website has lots of good information and documentation on quakers in the wild.

If you want to learn more about legislation about quaker parakeets and other birds of the parrot family, the American Federation of Aviculture is a great start.