Cold-schmold!

Green-WoodThe Monk Parakeets, also known as Quaker Parrots (Myiopsitta monachus) in Green-Wood Cemetery were celebrating the return of (barely) above freezing temperatures yesterday with their usual racket. Myiopsitta monachusOnce, long ago in Green-Wood, with my bins in hand identifying me as a weirdo, a couple came up and asked if I was there to look at the Quakers. It was my assumption they were all buried in the Quaker Cemetery in Prospect Park. Thus I learned the alternative name of the Monks. Meanwhile, “parrot” and “parakeet” are often used interchangeably for the Psittaciformes; the smaller of these colorful, (usually) tropical birds generally get called parakeets, since this basically means small parrot. Since we no longer have the Carolina Parakeet to marvel at, up here at the edges of its once mighty range, these guys will do in a pinch.

Update 1/30/13: Twenty-five or so of these Monks make one hell of a racket when a Cooper’s hawk coasts on by.

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11 Responses to “Cold-schmold!”


  1. 1 Flatbush Gardener (@xrisfg) January 28, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Carolina Parakeet is one of the Candidate Species of RARE – Revive and Restore – the de-extinction project of the Long Now Foundation. Their initial efforts are focusing on the Passenger Pigeon.

    • 2 mthew January 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      I am not so sure I agree with this project, Chris. We have so radically changed the habitats that the passenger pigeon, Carolina parakeet, heath hen, et. al, lived in; to “reintroduce” such animals, if indeed it’s even possible, may be akin to letting loose an invasive species now. Habitat preservation should be first, rehabilitation following up, to save what we have now, but could we ever bring those habitats back on such a scale to foster extinct species? Should we?

      And what about vital but non-charismatic/celebrity animal forms, like all the species of fresh-water mussels we’ve destroyed in the U.S.?

      My wariness here goes doubly for dinosaurs, and such megafauna as mammoths, which have also been bandied about as candidates for genetic engineering/cloning projects. Really can’t have mammoths unless we have direwolves, etc., and knowing the fiercely reactionary (and murderous) response to gray wolf reintroductions in the West, direwolves, sabertooths, etc. seem most remote.

      Thoughts?

      • 3 Flatbush Gardener (@xrisfg) January 28, 2013 at 9:52 pm

        Take a look at the Ethics section of RARE’s Web site. They would agree. Questions of whether or not we should, whether or not it matters if a species extinction is anthropogenic, whether or not a de-extincted species could ever be re-introduced, and whether or not it should be considered native or invasive. These are all questions they are openly discussing.

  2. 4 Rebecca January 28, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Nice! Reminds me of the lovebirds in my parents’ neighborhood.

    • 5 mthew January 29, 2013 at 9:36 am

      Lovebirds on the loose? A SW desert kind of neighborhood, I take it? I’ve seen a few escaped budgies over the years here in Brooklyn, but they are usually only seen once.

      • 6 Rebecca January 29, 2013 at 11:08 am

        Phoenix area, yeah. Several of the eastern Phoenix suburbs are full of Rosy-faced Lovebirds, so much so that they’ve been added to the official checklist of North American birds.

  3. 7 alphonsegaston January 28, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Lovely little birds.


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