[Tweeters] Yacolt Monk Parakeets

Eugene and Nancy Hunn enhunn323 at comcast.net
Fri Nov 23 08:08:29 PST 2007


Drove to Portland yesterday for a family turkey day celebration and made the detour to Yacolt (a town somewhere near nowhere) in search of the recently reported Monk Parakeet congregation.

Nancy and I found a large nest with no parakeets on the main street (Yacolt I think it was, just east of the T junction with the road from Amboy), then drove around a bit until we heard the screeching. We found three birds actively constructing a small nest on a power pole near the junction of Hubbard and Jones. We spoke with a man who lived nearby who said they'd been in town since he'd moved there five years ago (he communtes to Vancouver, 40 minutes away). He thought their numbers had increased over that span.

After reviewing previous posts, including Wayne Weber's informative summary, I googled "Monk Parakeet Portland, Oregon" and found an article published in _Oregon Birds_ 29(2):97-105 (2003) by Chris Butler, "Species Status Review: Monk Parakeets in Oregon." Interesting. First noted nesting there in 1969, their numbers increased until the mid 1980s and have tapered off since but are still around. They are well established from Florida to Connecticut at least on the east coast with numbers in the thousands in some states, despite eradication efforts.

It would be a worthwhile oral history project to interview Yacolt residents to determine how long they have been established there, as they are certainly breeding and self-sustaining, at least in the short run.

Gene Hunn
18476 47th Pl NE
Lake Forest Park, WA
enhunn323 at comcast.net

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