Do Wild Parakeets and Parrots Live in North America?

Updated: Mar. 19, 2024

You don't have to visit the tropics to see wild parakeets and parrots. Learn about these exotic looking birds that you can find in the U.S.

Types of Wild Parakeets and Parrots in the U.S.

Red Crowned Amazon wild parakeet and parrotParrotstarr/Getty Images
Look for red-crowned Amazon parrots in the wild.

Monk parakeets, red-crowned Amazon parrots and Nanday parakeets are the three most common wild parakeets and parrots in the U.S. None of these is a native North American bird species. Over the years, however, their populations adapted to survive in many cities. Pigeons did a similar thing by learning how to survive in urban environments.

In most cases, these wild parakeet and parrot populations likely started as a result of escaped birds meant for the pet trade.

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Where Do Wild Parakeets and Parrots Live?

Monk Parakeetcynoclub/Getty Images
Monk parakeets are sometimes spotted in urban areas.

Most of the 25 types of wild parrots that have bred in the United States live in California, Florida and Texas. Red-crowned Amazons only have a population in southern Texas.

wild parrots, nanday parakeetCourtesy Caeli Cunningham
Nanday parakeet perched on a sunflower 

Wild Nanday parakeets live generally in the Southwest and Florida. You can find parrots farther north, too. Keep an eye out for wild monk parakeets in many major U.S. cities such as Chicago, New York, and Portland, Oregon.

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Wild Parrot Sightings by the Numbers

monk parakeetCourtesy Maria Retzlaff
Monk parakeets are the most common wild parrot seen by northern birders.

The monk parakeet is the most common wild parrot that makes its home in the northern U.S. Through the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count and Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird, 42,981 sightings were logged between 2002 and 2016.

Birders with eBird and Christmas Bird Count have spotted wild parakeets and parrots in 43 states in recent years, usually in parklands or suburban habitats. These birds mostly live in populated areas.

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Are There Any Native Wild Parrots in North America?

Close-up portrait of a thick billed parrotcurioustiger/Getty Images
Thick-billed parrots live in Mexico

Sadly, you won’t find North America’s only two native parrots in the U.S today. The Carolina parakeet went extinct in the 1920s. The thick-billed parrot no longer visits the Southwest, but still resides in Mexico. In recent years, 56 nonnative parrot species were reported in the wild in the States.

Sources

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