Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)

Monk Parakeet

Monk Parakeet

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Myiopsitta monachus | [authority] Boddaert, 1783 | [UK] Monk Parakeet | [FR] Perruche-moine | [DE] Monchsittich | [ES] Cotorra (Arg), Cotorra Argentina, Perico Monje | [NL] Monniksparkiet | [copyright picture] A.J. Hand


Monotypic species


The Monk Parakeet, also known as the Quaker Parrot, (Myiopsitta monachus) is a species of parrot, in most treatments the only member of the genus Myiopsitta. It originates from the temperate to subtropical areas of Argentina and the surrounding countries in South America. Self-sustaining feral populations occur in many places, mainly in North America and Europe

Physical charateristics

M.m. monachus: both adults green in colour with yellow on underparts; forehead blue/grey turning to brown/grey on crown and back of head; face pale grey; breast brown/grey scalloped with grey/white; stripe across upper abdomen olive/yellow; underparts of wings (flight feathers) pale blue; upper tail green, undertail dull grey/blue at base. Bill orange/brown. Eye dark brown. M.m. calita: both adults head darker grey with no blue tint to forecrown; lower abdomen washed with blue; smaller in size. M.m. cotorra: both adults as in calita, but upperparts brighter green in colour; abdomen less yellow. M.m. luchsi: both adults forehead and forecrown completely pale grey; breast uniform grey in colour.

Listen to the sound of Monk Parakeet

[audio: Parakeet.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Fernando Jacobs

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 23 cm size max.: 24 cm
incubation min.: 24 days incubation max.: 26 days
fledging min.: 50 days fledging max.: 60 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 5  
      eggs max.: 7  


South America : Southeast. It occurs from southern Bolivia and southern Brazil south through central Argentina.


Found in dry wooded country or open country with trees including gallery forest, isolated clumps of trees, palm groves, woodlots, savanna and thorn scrub with cacti. Also found in cultivated areas. Feral in some urban areas. Up to 1000m (3280 ft), race luchsi reaching 3000m (9840 ft). Occurs in pairs or flocks of 30-50 birds, with larger groups outside of breeding season. Roost communally, sleeping sometimes in nest outside of breeding season. Feeds in trees and on the ground, mixing with other species of birds such as pigeons and cowbirds.


The Monk Parakeet is the only parrot that builds a stick nest, in a tree or on a man-made structure, rather than using a hole in a tree. This gregarious species often breeds colonially, building a single large nest with separate entrances for each pair. In the wild, the colonies can become quite large, with pairs occupying separate “apartments” in nests that can reach the size of a small automobile. These nests can attract many other tenants including birds of prey such as the Spot-winged Falconet (Spiziapteryx circumcincta), ducks such as the Yellow-billed Teal (Anas flavirostris), and even mammals. Their 5-12 white eggs hatch in about 24 days and the nestlings leave the nest after about 50-60 days

Feeding habits

Eats wild and cultivated seeds, fruits and vegetable items such as grass seeds and grain, cactus stems, root vegetables and tree fruits. Also includes insects and their larvae in their diet.

Video Monk Parakeet


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
It is commonly kept as a cage bird and introduced populations are established in many parts of the world, particularly North America and Europe.
Monk Parakeet status Least Concern


Probably resident

Distribution map

Monk Parakeet distribution range map

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