Quaker/Monk Parakeets Have Lived Wild and Free In CT
For More Than 30 Years

Baby Parakeet Topples Along With Mighty Locust

HERE WE GO AGAIN! United Illuminating knows full well that the threat of that tree could have waited a couple of weeks and in less than couple of weeks that baby could have flown off and not been injured. They know that those of us protecting the parrots are not opposed to nest removal at appropriate times. BUT not when eggs or unfledged babies are in the nest. WE have requested a moratorium on nest removal between April and September. They had been doing well on staying within that. For what reason they could not wait less than 2 weeks is beyond me. Most of the quaker babies have fledged already, with the last fledging within the next week or so. That baby could possibly have been saved and brought to neighboring states where the keeping of these birds is legal. Transport is no problem. Myself and others can and will do it on the spot. I ask you UI, is this one "special case" or is the battle on again?

I REQUEST that all UI customers call UI and express their outrage. We can flood them with calls of protest but the ones that count most come from their customer base.

Remember the capture and slaughter of over 300 of these birds in 2005. UI captured them and the USDA gassed them to death. If you don't I recommend you check out the pictures on this website.

Baby Parakeet Topples Along With Mighty Locust - New Haven Independent article

This website began as a way to communicate with CT Quaker supporters in November of 2005 when United Illuminating began a project to eradicate the Quaker parrots/Monk Parakeets in their service area. That service area includes West Haven, Milford, Stratford and Bridgeport. In early November, UI workers were given training on the capture and kill method of eradicating the Quaker population. During the week of November 14, 2005, a biologist from the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) Gainesville, FL, field station collaborated with personnel from the Massachusetts/Connecticut/Rhode Island Wildlife Services office and Pandion, a Gainesville consulting firm, to conduct training in monk parakeet trapping for employees of a Connecticut electric utility company. Based on what they considered a successful parakeet management program developed by Pandion and NWRC in Florida, over 30 linemen and supervisors received instruction in monk parakeet biology, trapping methodology, handling, and euthanasia, as well as information regarding pertinent regulations, public relations, and safety issues. Parakeets collected as a result of the trapping program will be sent to the Gainesville field station for additional research.

The capture began on November 17, 2005. In the dark of the night long after the birds had gone to roost and were peacefully sleeping, their self made sanctuary was invaded. UI workers armed with a long pole and a very long net descended on the first nest.

Using a truck equipped with a hydraulic bucket lift to raise personnel to the appropriate height, a net is quickly thrown over the nest entrance. There is a translucent window at the top of the net to let some light enter and the parrots to think they can escape. Instead of finding an escape the parrots hit the window and drop into the net. A zippered bottom opening in the net allows the captured birds to be easily removed. To decrease the number of parrots that may escape capture, Florida Power & Light (FP&L) developed the practice of shining of a strong beam of light into the nest. entrance. This temporarily blinds the birds to the activity below the nest. Since the birds are blinded they are not as likely to fly out of the nest while the bucket is put into position and the nets are placed over the over the nests.

The captured parrots are turned over to the USDA. Once in the hands of the USDA the parrots are euthanized using carbon dioxide. Although they claim to be humanely euthanizing the birds the truth is they are thrown into a sealed metal box and carbon dioxide is pumped into the box. A small number of birds were saved from euthanization and instead shipped out of CT to be used for experimentation.

Rather than removing the nests at the time of capture, UI left them up. They waited a week or so hoping for any escapees to return to the nest. The nest was then assaulted once again. Nests were removed in late December and January causing the birds to endure the extreme temperatures without shelter.

United Illuminating removed 103 nests in the Bridgeport and New Haven areas.  UI turned over 179 parakeets to the U-S Department of Agriculture, which euthanized the birds using carbon dioxide. United Illuminating's eradication project cost $150,000. That is a cost of $698.32 per bird killed.

Controversy over the extermination reached newspapers nationwide, and as far as London, England.

Friends of Animals filed a complaint against United Illuminating Co. on behalf of Connecticut’s monk parakeets. In December the company assured the Court it would stop netting the birds and turning them over to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has been asphyxiating them in carbon dioxide chambers. The lawsuit is scheduled to be heard in the Spring of 2008.

Concern for the birds also came from Connecticut legislators, including U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Christopher Shays, and state Rep. Richard Roy. In February 2006, Rep. Richard Roy, co-chairman of the Environment Committee said he will promote a bill that would take monk parakeets off the state’s invasive species list, in an effort to protect them from further eradication efforts. Rep. Richard F. Roy, D-Milford, said protecting the gregarious birds will be a priority in the new legislative session, following the United Illuminating Co.’s November and December destruction of parrot nests on more than 100 utility poles.ââ‿Essentially I want to protect them from extermination,ââ‿Roy said in an interview. “I think there area lot of people who enjoy the birds, as well as those who don’t care.ââ‿/p>

Roy sponsored File No. 404, (Substitute House Bill No. 5804) An ACT Concerning Monk Parakeets and Hearings Prior to The Euthanization of Dogs. On March 20, 2006, the Legislature's Environment Committee approved the bill that would protect Connecticut's monk parakeets from capture and eradication. The bill was sent to the Judiciary Committee on April 11. Unfortunately the Bill was not called for a vote before the end of the Legislative session. Although Roy had said he would sponsor the bill again in the next session, he did not. There is currently no legislation pending.

Locally a group of parrot supporters staged protests and with the help and direction of Marc Johnson, of Foster Parrots of MA built alternative platforms in an effort to provide protection to the birds.

After the parakeet nests were destroyed in Dec. of 2005, Marc Johnson of Foster Parrots of MA and myself, as well as local volunteers erected alternative nesting platforms in CT. The design was developed by Johnson. Fourteen platforms were put up between 50 and 150 feet from existing nests or where nests had been removed by UI. Two of those platforms were adopted by survivors from the eradication program. The first nest adopted was 50 feet from the original nest. This platform was adopted in less than one month’s time by a pair. The pair built the nest up in width and height. This pair raised two young that fledged from the platform in June 2006 and in November of 2006 four parakeets were attending this nest. The other nest was adopted by a pair five months later. This pair also succeeded in raising two young. Five additional birds joined this nest site after the nest removals of October 2006. The adoption rate was low but there was adoption of the nests and breeding. I believe the adoption rte could be increased with cooperation from the utility company.

Please explore the rest of this site, you will find photos of the Quakers, photos of the capture and killing, building of the platforms and information regarding wild Quakers in other states

Donna Dwyer

Email Donna to be kept informed as to what's going on in the effort or wish to help in the effort, form a neighborhood watch or perhaps volunteer your property as a sanctuary for these innocent victims. We are in need of property owners in the area where the birds nest, to allow alternative nest platforms to be erected on their property.

Please sign the new on-line petition to save Connecticut's wild Quaker Monk Parakeets!!

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