Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gone but Not Forgotten

Many days this summer, my coworkers and I spotted a parakeet hopping around Beczak’s park all by its lonely self. Did the bird escape from the zoo? Someone’s home?

Parakeets are part of the parrot family. Presently, there are no longer any native parakeets in North America. All the parakeets we see in the wild are imported. The particular parakeet we see at Beczak seems to be a budgerigar. These birds are the most commonly sold parrot and frequently escape domestic life. They originally came from Australia. Their short hooked beaks are ideal for eating grass and crop seeds.

As it started to get colder and the leaves were changing color and falling, I wondered what would become of the parakeet with the winter season approaching. Then in mid-August, I noticed a large flock of sparrows picking at the grass. To my surprise, I saw the parakeet hopping among the smaller birds. It seems to have found a flock to follow!

I haven’t seen the sparrows or the parakeet for the last couple of weeks. I hope they all migrated south before winter begins. We will be on a watch for the striking parakeet. It will be in our thoughts throughout the cold winter days.

Dorene Sukup