As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 14 March 2016

Monk parakeets showing up in unexpected places

Posted: Monday, March 7, 2016 4:30 pm
Bryan Stevens For the Birds Bristol Herald Courier

Monk parakeets have habit of showing up in unexpected places
What do birders miss when they look back on some of the avian potential lost before Americans became more protective of their wildlife? Obviously, we lament the loss of birds like the ivory-billed woodpecker or the great auk. Losses of bird life in the Hawaiian islands have been staggering. We also lost tiny birds — dusky seaside sparrow and Bachman's warbler — that would have gone unnoticed by most people.

I'm confident we mourn the loss of some of the most abundant birds to ever roam the continent. One such bird was the now-extinct Carolina parakeet. Many people don't realize that North America was once home to its own species of parakeet. A few individuals — all that remained of once massive flocks of colorful, noisy native parakeets — made it into the 20th century. The last specimen died in the Cincinnati Zoo on Feb. 21, 1918. Although not declared officially extinct until 1939, the population of the Carolina parakeets crashed suddenly and for reasons still not fully understood.

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