Saturday, February 4th 2017, 8:16 am GMTSaturday, February 4th 2017, 9:16 am GMT
By Jobeth Devera, Reporter
KAPAA, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Parakeets aren't typically considered a nuisance bird. But on Kauai, that's exactly what they've become.
Swarms of rose-ringed parakeets are destroying farmers' crops on Kauai. And residents and visitors complain flocks of the green-coated, long-tailed birds are roosting in palm trees over parking areas and leaving their droppings on cars.
Their loud and noisy calls can be heard echoing through residential areas.
"It's discouraging to realize we're going to lose a good percentage of our crop to these birds," said Kauai farmer Jerry Ornellas, who mainly grows tropical fruit like lychee and longan on his 15-acre Kapaa farm.
He said in 2016, he suffered a 30 percent crop loss due to parakeet predation.
"There's no way of knowing what we're going to lose this year, because every year it seems to get worse and at some point it's going to get to where we cant even farm," Ornellas said.
Brought to the islands from India, records show the feral birds escaped as caged pets in the 1960s.
By the 1990s, their population had grown to about 200.