Sunday, January 23, 2011

Seeing is believing!

Friday's high temperature in Chicago was a mere eight degrees; it  was the coldest January 21st on record in 27 years. The last time I checked South America's temperatures don't  dip that low with any alarming frequency so  it came as quite a shock to find nearly twenty Monk Parakeets hanging out in a tree eating berries near Emma's dance studio yesterday afternoon.

Monk Parakeets, also known as Quaker Parrots are native to Argentina, but feral populations can be found all over the world.  Rumor has it that the winter hardy Chicago population started when a few birds escaped from a crate at O'Hare Airport and headed for Hyde Park in the early 1970's.  Since then feral colonies have moved into the surrounding areas including Oak Park!  I saw the birds on East Ave and North Blvd., but you should  keep your eyes peeled around the high school and Scoville Park, too.  I can't think of anything I'd expect to see less than a tree full of wild chartreuse parakeets in the dead of winter in Chicago, but seeing is believing.  Catching a glimpse of these urban birds surely changed my ideas about city wildlife!


Mb said...

Dan is a bird lover. He will be so jealous.

Nubia said...

I can still remember the first time I saw a parakeet in Hyde Park! I thought it was someone's lost pet...until I saw multiple ones together. It's pretty cool and unexpected for sure!

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