West Florida Parakeets By: Wes Tallyn

There are three species of parakeets commonly found on the west coast of Florida. These species are all likely escapees from the pet trade that have begun breeding locally.

The first species highlighted is the monk parakeet. Monk parakeets are native to southern South America. When observed, they mostly appear all green with yellow-ish bills and are smaller than the other two parakeet species highlighted. They flock and live together in family groups usually nesting on or around power poles and sometimes in the underneath side of large osprey nests. Historically their numbers were much higher than today’s numbers, but they can still be seen commonly along the coasts. Their diet consists of seeds and small insects that are easy to catch on the ground.

The next established species is the Nanday parakeet. Nanday parakeets are the most common species of exotic parakeet on the west coast. Their native range is central South America. They’re easily identified by the black feathers on the face and top of head. They often nest in cavities of palm trees and can be a problem due to taking nesting locations from native species like woodpeckers.

The third species is the blue-crowned parakeet. They are the least common of the three parakeet species located almost primarily in southwest Florida. Their native range is throughout South America. The numbers of blue-crowned parakeets have increased greatly over the past ten-years. They’re easily identified by their large pinkish bill, blue feathers on their face and a distinctive white ring around their eyes.

Keep your eyes out for one of these three birds in your neighborhood today!