Several weeks ago I was contacted with a Monk Parakeet sighting in Richardson, Texas near the intersection of Plano Road and Arapaho Road. I wasn’t aware of a colony in that area, so this was a report that definitely needed to be checked out.

Monk Parakeets in the Dallas area are the descendants of pet birds released over the years. These highly social birds seek each other out and establish large colonies. For some strange reason, these birds have a strong preference for electrical substations as nesting sites. With this in mind, I was sure finding the location of the colony would not be difficult.

Sure enough, a quick look at Google Maps revealed an electrical substation just a couple of hundred yards/meters south of where the reported parakeet was seen. I planned a trip to investigate.

I arrived at the electrical substation around noon on a cold January day. The tell-tale clumps of sticks that make up the Monk Parakeet’s massive nests were easy to see as we pulled into an adjacent parking lot.

I didn’t expect to see many parakeets on site, though, because I was sure that the low temperature would encourage to the birds to hunker down in their nests to stay warm. As it turned out, my expectations were wrong. The colony was full of noisy, bright green birds busying themselves with socializing and nest maintenance.

Clumps of sticks indicative of Monk Parakeet nests are visible on this Richardson electrical substation.
Clumps of sticks indicative of Monk Parakeet nests are visible on this Richardson electrical substation.
Monk Parakeet nests are constructed from twigs that are very nearly uniform in diameter and length.
Monk Parakeet nests are constructed from twigs that are very nearly uniform in diameter and length.
Each nest houses several birds.
Each nest houses several birds.
Despite the cold weather the Monk Parakeets were out in force on this day.
Despite the cold weather the Monk Parakeets were out in force on this day.
One bird scratches...
One bird scratches…
...then the other bird scratches.
…then the other bird scratches.
A Monk Parakeet near the entrance to its nest.
A Monk Parakeet near the entrance to its nest.
A Monk Parakeet in Richardson, Texas.
A Monk Parakeet in Richardson, Texas.
Many of the birds were activity repairing or enlarging their nests.
Many of the birds were activity repairing or enlarging their nests.
A Monk Parakeet in Richardson, Texas
A Monk Parakeet in Richardson, Texas
Several birds live in each nest.  They work together to keep the nests in good shape.
Several birds live in each nest. They work together to keep the structures in good shape.
Contributing another twig to the effort.
Contributing another twig to the effort.
The twig was carefully put into position.
The twig was carefully put into position.

Observation Details

CountyDallas
CityRichardson
DateJan 4, 2013
Time of DayNoon
TemperatureCold (less than 50°F/10°C)
WeatherOvercast
HabitatCommercial-Industrial/Warehouse
Type of BehaviorNesting
GenderMixed
MaturityAdult
ObserverChris Jackson

8 Replies to “Monk Parakeet – In Richardson”

  1. check out Northwest Drive and Interstate 30. There is a cell phone tower next to a gas station that’s next to a jack in the box that has a big nest. on Google Maps of 2014 {the street view} I even saw what looked like green parakeets looking down from under the nesting area. Its the smaller of the two cell phone towers. Not that both won’t have nests.

  2. Just saw a small flock of 20 or so in Richardson on Collins Blvd. behind Travelers Insurance. They were among a similar sized flock of crows foraging. It was funny, when the crows moved, the Monks followed.

  3. I just went to the Richardson Animal Shelter in that area and saw this colony outside feasting on the bird feeder and sitting in the trees and powerlines. 😀

  4. I saw a lone Monk outside my apartment this afternoon near the intersection of Renner Rd and the George Bush Freeway. It was making a ton of noise and got the attention of my conure.

  5. I saw a Monk Parakeet sitting on top of my birdfeeder in my backyard on Williams Way near N. Floyd Road. I saw it on Monday and again today. Beautiful bird. It squawks loudly. Dates seen July 25 and July 27, 2017 around 10:30 a.m.

  6. We’ve had a lone Monk Parakeet at our feeder the past 5 days in a row Jul 27-31, 2016. Visits both in the AM & around 6PM. We are just N of Campbell, east of UTD. We’ve named it Monk!

  7. We have had 2 monks feeding at our bird feeder @ Campbell & Custer in Richardson since May 2016. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them! About two weeks ago, one of them quit showing up. I’m very sad by this turn of events. You can tell my “loner” is very sad. I think one of our local red tail hawks may have taken one down. I’m hoping she is just off in her home snuggling with her eggs!

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