Breeding Bird Atlas 2 Species Accounts

Monk Parakeet

Myiopsitta monachus

  • Very local, trend not established
“Like a parakeet, that says what he knows but doesn’t know what he says.” – Spanish proverb

As natives of the New World tropics, Monk Parakeets may seem out of place in the Commonwealth. Nonetheless, at many locations in the American Northeast, feral populations of Monk Parakeets have become fairly well established, with Connecticut and New York both harboring substantial populations. These noisy escapees build large, bulky stick nests occupied throughout the year, shared by several individuals, and expanded year after year.

Historic Status

The notion that a southern South American parrot would someday take up residence in Massachusetts was foreign to early ornithologists. Yet, due to numerous releases and escapes in the 1960s and early 1970s the species moved into several eastern states. Initial fears that the species would overwhelm crops led to early population control tactics in many states.

Atlas 1 Distribution

Monk Parakeets weren’t even on the radar as a potential breeding species during Atlas 1, but it would only be a matter of time before Monk Parakeets appeared in several of Massachusetts’ largest metropolitan areas, including Boston.

Atlas 2 Distribution and Change

In East Boston, near Logan Airport, a single pair of Monk Parakeets took up residence during Atlas 2, and they were Confirmed to be breeding by a local police officer. No other evidence of breeding for this species was recorded during the second Atlas, and the colony was abandoned before 2011.


Atlas 1 Map

Atlas 2 Map

Atlas Change Map


Ecoregion Data

 Atlas 1Atlas 2Change
Ecoregion# Blocks% Blocks% of Range# Blocks% Blocks% of RangeChange in # BlocksChange in % Blocks
Taconic Mountains00.00.000.0
Marble Valleys/Housatonic Valley00.00.000.0
Berkshire Highlands00.00.000.0
Lower Berkshire Hills00.00.000.0
Vermont Piedmont00.00.000.0
Berkshire Transition00.00.000.0
Connecticut River Valley00.00.000.0
Worcester Plateau00.00.000.0
Lower Worcester Plateau00.00.000.0
S. New England Coastal Plains and Hills00.00.000.0
Boston Basin11.8100.011.8
Bristol and Narragansett Lowlands00.00.000.0
Cape Cod and Islands00.00.000.0
Statewide Total10.1100.010.1