[CT Birds] Trumpeter Swans (LONG)

Mark Szantyr birddog55 at charter.net
Mon Mar 29 23:31:07 EDT 2010

I have copied the text from the ARCC report dealing with Monk Parakeets 
acceptance to the state list.  It sheds a bit of light on the process and 
criteria needed to establish an "exotic" bird on the state list.


MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus). This species is accepted to the state 
list based on a population that seems to have grown from a core group 
established in Fairfield county since the early 1970s (L. Pearson in litt.). 
The species now nests at numerous localities along the coast from Darien to 
West Haven and inland to Danbury. The total statewide population is around 
400 individuals today, but the exact number is very hard to determine due to 
the nomadic nature of this species. The population is increasing and new 
nesting colonies are being found regularly. The population of Monk Parakeets 
in Connecticut appears to meet all of the criteria for introduced species 
established in the ABA Checklist fourth edition (DeBenedictis et al. 1990)-a 
more-or-less contiguous population exists that survives normal mortality and 
nest failure, produces offspring that maintains or increases the population 
level, and is not directly dependent on human support.

The American Birding Association (ABA) recently added this species to its 
checklist of North American birds based on populations in Florida and Texas 
(Birding 26:96). In that report, the ABA checklist committee questioned the 
status of other populations, including those in New England, stating that 
they were sustained by human assistance, e.g. feeding. The Connecticut 
committee disagrees with that opinion, citing a careful review of this 
species in Connecticut by Olivieri and Pearson (1992), who indicate that 
Monk Parakeets are thriving and expanding here and are not dependent on 
humans for food any more than are, for example, Northern Cardinal or House 
Finch, which in New England are both comparatively recently established 
breeders that probably took advantage of bird feeders to survive winters. 
While bird seed is the predominate food in winter, these parrots have been 
seen feeding on frozen fruits, plant buds, and grass in winter. The diet and 
breeding times are similar to those reported for a colony near Chicago 
(Hyman and Pruett-Jones 1995). Juveniles are first seen in Connecticut 
colonies usually in July. Monk Parakeets apparently survived eradication 
efforts in Connecticut in the early to mid-1970s. A comparison of the 
numbers reported by Niedermyer and Hickey (1977) with those in Olivieri and 
Pearson (1992) for the early 1970s shows that the Connecticut population was 
likely underestimated in those years as reported in the earlier study.

While the committee is uneasy with a generalization that this species is now 
"officially established," members agree that the Connecticut population is 
similar to other populations in the United States. In some ways, the Monk 
Parakeet is probably more self-sustaining in the state than are Bobwhite and 
Ring-necked Pheasant, which rely on restocking in parts of their range 
within the state. Further study is needed on population growth and diet of 
the Monk Parakeet in Connecticut.

Mark S. Szantyr
80 Bicknell Road #9
Ashford, Connecticut 06278
Birddog55 at charter.net
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mark Szantyr" <birddog55 at charter.net>
To: <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2010 11:23 PM
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Trumpeter Swans-YES

> For interesting reading about the "natural" range of Trumpeter Swans and 
> the introduction / re-introduction program, The Birds of North America 
> monograph by Cornell has a lot of interesting stuff to consider. 
> Interestingly, just a few days ago, and before these swans were found,  I 
> was in a conversation with a notable western waterfowl guy and he was 
> going off about what he termed, "the farce" of reintoducing a bird like 
> the Trumpeter Swan to an area where they may not have actually 
> occurred....Birding is soooooo much fun!
> Mark
> Mark S. Szantyr
> 80 Bicknell Road #9
> Ashford, Connecticut 06278
> 860-487-9766
> Birddog55 at charter.net
> _______________________________________________
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