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.
|Date||–||Jan 4, 2013|
|Time of Day||–||Noon|
|Temperature||–||Cold (less than 50°F/10°C)|
|Type of Behavior||–||Nesting|