Monk Parakeet Myiopsitta monachus
From 2003 to 2008, there was a sizeable Monk Parakeet colony on Black Hammock Island that thrived and persisted along the northern edge of the island. The story varies, but as best I can tell, a resident there sold the species at a flea market pet shop and one day they either escaped or she turned them loose. They built dozens of nests over the years, many within the vicinity of the home, but some were a mile or two away on the other side of the island. I used to check for them at least twice a year and in 2008 they became more difficult to find. I don’t know of any reports since 2009.
In 2006, I was told that there was one Monk nest in downtown Jacksonville “20 or more years ago”, but it didn’t last long (P. Powell, personal communication, 2006).
Carolina Parakeet Conuropsis carolinensis (extinct)
Grimes noted that according to reports of long-term residents in Jacksonville, Carolina Paroquets [sic] were “formerly a common bird” (Grimes, 1945, p.24). In fact, he interviewed a Mandarin resident who had lived in the area since 1870 and who said that the species came in large numbers to his farm and orchard to feed on “sandspurs that grew in profusion” on the property. That resident, Mr. Hood, informed Grimes that they were no longer seen sometime in the early 1890’s.
Nanday Parakeet Aratinga nenday
There is one report of nine Black-hooded Parakeets in south Jacksonville from 27 January – 3 February 1989 (Ogden, 1989). No further details are available.
Red-crowned Parrot Amazona viridigenalis
One report of Red-crowned Parrot comes from 29 Dec 1990 during the year’s Christmas Bird Count. Assuming the bird was identified correctly, it was undoubtedly an escapee.
Budgerigar Melopsittacus undulatus
There are some old reports that Budgerigars bred in Duval County in 1977 and previous, but I’ve been unable to find further detail as to specific timeframe, observers, or location. What is known is that Virge Markgraf noted that they seemed to appear each spring and summer at feeders, and for several years they increased in number (Kale, 1977). They were also documented in the county during the Breeding Bird Atlas from 1986-1991 (Pranty, 2001).
There have still been scattered reports of Budgerigar over the years, but all are undoubtedly single escapees. There are no known persistent colonies or breeding in the ‘wild’ in Duval County.