The Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus), a bird native to South America, has established populations in Connecticut and many other states in the past 40 years. In the parakeet’s brief history in Connecticut, they have proven to be a controversial public safety problem. Their habit of building large nests on utility poles has resulted in many fires and power outages. Attempts by a local utility company to manage the parakeet’s population have met with protests and lawsuits.
To address this problem, Ph.D. student Kevin Burgio and the UConn Ornithology Research Group have been studying the nest-building behavior of Monk Parakeets in order to learn more about their use of poles. The goal of this research project is to develop a cost-effective, non-lethal measure to deter birds from nesting on poles, reducing the conflict between parakeets and people, as well as determine the principle habitat requirements of the parakeets, in hope of constructing a predictive GIS (Geographic Information System) model of where the Monk Parakeets may spread in the future.
This website has been designed to educate and facilitate cooperation and understanding from the primary stakeholders of this issue, namely, animal rights activists, power companies, conservation agencies, volunteers, and affected local communities. Please feel free to browse the site and learn more about these fascinating birds and contact us with any comments or questions you may have.