Texas is no stranger to the Monk Parakeet. The state has had the bird on its official State Bird List since 1991, and the Audubon Society recently counted 445 in the state. Wild colonies have been reported in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and other localities.
A group of Red-Crowned Parrots (AKA Mexican Red-Headed Parrots) appear to be attempting to establish a presence in Brownsville, Texas, a town just north of the Mexican border, according to local news site ValleyCentral.com. Red-crowned parrots are a IUCN class-EN (threatened) species in their native land of Mexico. Only 1,000 to 2,000 are known to exist there now, due to habitat loss and capture by the pet trade.
The Brownsville parrots — currently just five (three nestlings plus parents) — are cavity-nesters (unlike Brooklyn’s local Monk Parakeets, who build free-standing nests). They appear to be making good use of Brownsville’s many old palm trees to build nests within.
The parrots’ presence appears to be generating some sympathy in South Texas, if the sentiments of article author Richard Moore are any indication. He writes: “whether they are considered native or not doesn’t really matter, as they enhance our homeland with their enamoring tropical flair.”