These loud birds are full of character, always climbing around and hanging off of different apparatus. They love their fruit and veg, especially a piece of broccoli!
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The ‘monk parakeet’ is native to Argentina and some other surrounding countries in South America but have also been introduced to other parts around the world, including England. They are found in subtropical areas but are also well adapted to urban habitats and can even adapt themselves to extremely cold climates.
As they mainly inhabit green surroundings, they have adapted a mainly ‘lime green’ plumage in the wild to act as camouflage. However, with genetic mutations, they can be found in a variety of different colours. They also have two front-facing toes and two facing back, which helps them to climb and to hold food as they eat.
Seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables and occasionally an insect.
Up to 30 years.
Their name comes from their distinctive behaviour to shake or ‘quake’. This behaviour is exclusive to this bird and they often do it when they are excited or happy and to attract a mate. They are very social and so communicate often with their loud, high pitched calls. As well as their noisy chatter they can learn to imitate words and phrases, in addition to other sounds they hear!
Parakeets are the only parrots to build their own nests rather than using a hole in a tree, for example. They construct these sophisticated nests by weaving thousands of twigs, which can contain 20 nest chambers and weigh over a ton but also provide a year-round home. Therefore, these nests need a lot of maintenance, which all the nest’s birds help with, even the non-breeders. After monogamous pairs court by preening as well as grasping and shaking each other’s beaks, the female will lay 5-8 eggs which will hatch after 28 days.
These parrots construct their nests using thorny twigs as these hold the nest together well and protect them against predators!