The Wild Green Parrots of Miami Beach

From time-to-time in the relative calm of Miami Beach you will suddenly hear raging squawks that sound a bit like hysterical laughter. Looking up you will see three or four green birds flying above. Yes, they even “talk” noisily during flight. Occasionally you will see them sitting quietly together on overhead wires but they can’t keep quiet for very long. I guess they have a lot to say and want to tell everyone and anyone who will listen how super happy they are. Why wouldn’t they be…they live in Miami.

I’ve been calling them wild green parrots for a while but I have recently found out that they actually called Mitred Parakeets. I’ve been referring to them as wild green parrots as they are considered feral but I like my description better.

They were imported into the U.S. in vast quantities, around 140,000 birds, from South America in the 1980’s. They settled in New York, Los Angeles and Miami and can still be seen in those areas today.

Have they migrated anywhere else? Have you spotted any Mitred Parakeets in your neighborhood?

Two Mitred Parakeets chilling out together but keeping an eye on what I'm up to.
Two Mitred Parakeets chilling out together but keeping a beady eye on me. I managed to take quite a few close-ups and they seemed to be interested in what I was doing!

The Mitred Parakeet (Psittacara mitrata), also known as the Mitred Conure (Aratinga mitrata) in aviculture, is a species of green and red parrot in the Psittacidae family. It is native to the forests and woodlands in the Andes from North-Central Peru, South through Bolivia, to North-Western Argentina with introduced populations in California, Florida and Hawaii

They are such pretty birds but extremely loud for their size which can be quite a surprise. You definitely hear them before you see them! Their feathers are bright tropical green with patches of red and occasional yellow flecks. They are nosy and social birds as you can generally spot them in pairs or small groups.

Here are some pictures I’ve managed to capture of our feathery friends:-

They tend to disappear around November time and return Feb/March.

I’m not sure where they go during that time but it’s nice to have them back.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Mitred Parakeet or Mitred Conure please check out the following links:-

World Parrot Trust
The California Parrot Project
Wikipedia 

24 thoughts on “The Wild Green Parrots of Miami Beach”

  1. I’m in Fort Lauderdale. Sitting on my balcony I just witnessed a huge flock sitting in the palm trees then taking flight again. Very loud but quite pretty.

  2. Hello!
    Great pics of some fascinating birds…The ones in your photos are white-eyed parakeets, a relative of the mitred parakeet. They are now the most numerous ‘conure’ on South Beach. Several years ago, there were lots of blue-crowned parakeets on Miami Beach- the bottom mandible is black- the only local parakeet that shows this. White-eyes are much more common now.
    By the way, there are huge numbers of mitreds around Dadeland and at Sweetwater. I took some videos of a group airborne one early morning that must have been over a thousand. Possibly the greatest bird spectacle in my 24 years in Miami. The sound, clustering of several groups merging, seperating, and simply enjoying themselves was great!
    Frank

    1. Thanks for the valuable information and your input – much appreciated. Wow that flock you saw must have been impressive and extremely loud. Thanks for stopping by and happy birdwatching.

  3. I live in Miami Shores, which is located across the intracoastal com the North Beach area. Every day dozens of these parrots hang out in the trees outside my condo. They are extremely loud, and they do “talk” to each other constantly; sometimes I swear they are having arguments. I work from home sometimes and it drove me crazy at first, but now I’m quite used to it. They disappeared for a few months, and I kind of missed them, but now they are back.

    1. They are so funny and certainly have a LOT to say. It’s nice when they return but I’ve always wondered where they go to spend the “cooler” months. They can drive you crazy, I agree, especially when you’re trying to work but I’d rather hear them than someones loud music 🙂

  4. This morning my wife and I were on the deck enjoying the New Year’s winter weather with a coffee, when a very noisy, green flock flew by just a short distance away.
    They certainly sounded very happy.
    I love watching birds, and knew I was seeing something special, I quickly grabbed the binoculars which are always within reach.
    Yes! They were parrots!
    I was thrilled to see them for the first time, in this, our second year in Hallandale Beach.
    I Googled ‘are green parrots native to Miami’, and your page and photos popped up.
    Thank you for your post.
    Now you know that one of the green groups also gets to Hallandale sometimes, and it was a pleasure to see them.

    1. Thank you for telling your story. I’m so pleased they came to visit you whilst you are down here. You certainly can’t miss them they have a lot to say but they look like they have a lot of fun. They’ve not quite moved back here yet.

  5. I have lived in Fort Lauderdale on a lake for only a year. However within the last few days I have seen these huge flocks (probably 100) or more) of what looks like green parrots in the sky. You can’t help noticing them because they are so noisy! Even though they are so noisy; they are fascinating and beautiful to see even if only flying by! I Googled to try to figure out what I was seeing which brought me to your page! Has anyone else seen these birds in huge flocks as I have?

    1. Thank you for your comment. How interesting. I’ve not seen a flock of green parrots that large before here in Miami. They’re usually in smaller groups (pairs, sometimes three or four) That’s usually loud enough so 100 or so would have been so noisy.

      They’re not here yet so many they’re getting ready to visit us already.

      I’ll be interested to hear if anyone else spots these large flocks and whether they are moving down the state already in search of warmer weather.

  6. Hi. Four of these birds have been around my building the last week. I am in mid beach at 31 street. Beautiful and loud.

    1. Fabulous thanks for letting me know – it’s always fascinating to track them around Miami. They’re are quite a lot of our feathered friends flying and talking down here.

  7. There is a huge flock (around 100) of them currently roosting in front of my condo 6039 Collins, Miami Beach. We recently hosted a parrot party where the guests brought binoculars to enjoy the fascinating show!! They are very fun neighbors!!

    1. Wow thanks for sharing. I’m always fascinated where they go. We have zero now down here in Miami Beach. We won’t see them again until February time.

      Together we are tracking where our little green friends move around to. I should make a parrot map and everyone can add where they are at any particular point in the year.

      Parrot Party – now that sounds fun. 100 of them must have been extremely noisy.

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