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Have you spotted a flock of parakeets in your city park? Or maybe you’ve noticed a parrot flit through your yard? You’re not just imagining it! Parakeets, parrots and other exotic birds have lately been popping up in areas where they were previously only living as pets.
With booming populations of these colorful birds in North American cities, from New York to San Francisco, and other places around the world, it’s important to ensure that, like your other backyard visitors, they have access to the proper food and water. Whether or not you’ve seen these remarkable birds in your neighborhood, read to learn more so you’ll know what to do if one ever drops by.
With sizable populations of these birds suddenly showing up in non-tropical or non-native regions, you may be wondering how they got here. The best explanation for their abundance is the popularity of having these exotic birds as pets.
People have long admired these exotic beauties for their colorful plumage, entertaining behavior and amazing intelligence, and domesticated them as a result. However, like any other pet, birds are prone to escape. When they do, these birds make the best of their newfound freedom – which is the likeliest explanation for why you can now find the Monk Parakeet in abundance throughout New York City.
There are also cases, in places such as Bakersfield, California, where a few breeding Rose-ringed Parakeets got loose from an aviary during a storm in the 1970’s. Decades later, thousands of wild parakeets now thrive in their unlikely home.
Parrots and parakeets adapt their dietary needs to the resources available in their current environment, making them incredibly resilient. Due to the year-round supply of bird food available in many yards around the country, these striking birds are able to survive in the wild in areas far from their countries of origin. As further proof of their adaptability, these birds have successfully bred with each other in their new homes, which is why huge populations of them can now be found in so many unexpected places.
Despite their resilience and ability to adapt in many habitats, parrots and parakeets still appreciate some assistance to thrive in non-native environments. So what do you feed them, and how?
We’ll start with the how. There are a few great options for providing food to your unique visitors:
After deciding which type of feeding station to set up, it’s time to select the food you’ll be offering. Here are some great food options to attract parakeets and parrots to your yard if they’re in your area:
While parrots and parakeets love many fresh foods, a few offerings can actually be toxic or harmful to your colorful visitors. The primary foods to avoid are:
Have you seen parakeets or parrots at your bird feeders? We want to hear about it! Share pictures of your sightings the next time you visit our Facebook page. Do you want to know more about feeding these exotic beauties? Let us know!
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