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Unlikely Flock Visits Glen Ellyn Home

You won’t believe what this family saw in a backyard tree.

The Dougherty family woke up to what looked like parrots in their backyard on Sunday.

“They were just nibbling away in the tree,” said Chrissy Dougherty.

This isn’t the first time these feathered wonders have made an appearance. The Dougherty’s neighbor told her she spotted them years ago, and a week prior another neighbor caught sight of them as well.

Dougherty said her kids told their teachers about the neighbors' sighting and even they had doubts.

But on Sept. 11 the family woke up and captured their new feathered friends on film.

Dougherty snapped a few pictures and posted them on Facebook. Some friends commented on the pictures expressing disbelief.

Dougherty sent those pictures to Patch, and this editor was also in disbelief, so I made a few calls.

According to a naturalist at the in Glen Ellyn, monk parakeets, which look like the parrots in the Dougherty’s yard have been in the area since the 1970s.

It seems impossible that these birds could survive in this area but according to a 2003 Chicago Wilderness Magazine article, these types of birds have been spotted in Chicago and throughout the Chicago-land area in places like Hinsdale, Blue Island and Kane County.

Some believe these birds originally escaped from a shipping crate at O’Hare International Airport but that’s merely a rumor, according to the article. However, there was an influx of these South American birds in the early ‘70s, according to Katherine Millett’s report in Chicago Wilderness Magazine.

The Doughertys live in an unincorporated area of Glen Ellyn, near the ComEd Glenbard Regional Headquarters, which may account for why the birds gather near her home. According to the report, these birds like to nest on electrical poles or near transformers that give off heat.

But while there is still no clear explanation for this group of monk parakeets’ preference for Chicago, we certainly don’t disagree with their choice.

Rita Pereira September 16, 2011 at 08:17 PM
They've been in Chicago for many decades now. wikiepedia has a great article about them in Harold Washington Park: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Washington_Park
Janille Palmer Santa Ana September 17, 2011 at 03:06 PM
We used to see them 3 years ago when we lived in Wheaton near the Danada area.

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