Mitred Parakeet 1800x ab BINNS IMG_0165 copy

ABA adds exotic parrot

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Mar 18, 2021 | by Adrian Binns

The American Birding Association (ABA) has just added 3 birds to the official ABA Checklist: Hooded Crane, Northern Giant-Petrel and Mitred Parakeet (Psittacara mitratus). While the first two are vagrants in the ABA region, the Mitred Parakeet is a non-native species that has become established in several states courtesy of the pet trade – either released by home owners or escapees.

If you have joined one of our Wildside trips to southern Florida, California or Hawaii, you have probably seen Mitred Parakeet – just one of many exotic parrot species that are found in these mild climates of the United States.

The Mitred is a mid-sized, green parakeet about 15 inches in length with a long tail. These parakeets (sometimes known as conures) have varying amount of red blotching primarily on the head, along with a white eye ring and pale bill. Do not confuse Mitred with the similar-looking Red-masked Parakeet, which has an entirely red crown and face, and extensive red in the bend of the wing and underwing.

Native to the Andes region, stretching from northern Peru to northwestern Argentina, Mitred Parakeets have successfully adapted to urban parks and suburbs in Miami, Los Angeles and Maui. We often encounter noisy flocks flying around residential neighborhoods where they will readily come to feeders, and feed on the fruit, nuts and flowers of exotic plantings.

If you live or visit one of the “parakeet” cities, keep eyes and ears open for these noisy, colorful birds!

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