There Are Hundreds of Wild Parrots Living in NYC After Escaping From JFK Shipment in 1960s

A nest of monk parrots near the home of Liz Lynch in Queens.
A nest of monk parrots near the home of Liz Lynch in Queens.
Photo: Ángel Franco

There are an estimated 550 exotic wild Monk Parrots living in Queens, according to the best guess by area ornithologists. Back in the 1960s, shipments of the exotic tropical birds from South America through Idlewild Airport (now JFK International Airport) were commonplace, and sometimes the parrots would escape their enclosures. Once escaped, the birds made a home in Queens and other local neighborhoods.

Queens is not the only place the tropical green birds have become firmly entrenched. Fifty years after exotic bird importers began carting them here from their native South America, the parrots have nestled into other neighborhoods in the city and beyond. The best guess on their citywide population is around 550, though biologists say bird counts often capture just a tenth of their true totals. The parrots have set up colonies in at least 10 states, including Florida, Texas, Illinois and Oregon. They dappled European skies, breeding in England and Spain.

Check out the full article in the New York Times for more on the hundreds of Monk Parrots living in NYC.

Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Editor in Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's food scene with his Wife and the outdoors with their dog. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time eating, running, and working on cool stuff.

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