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South of the Border Down Brooklyn Way
Behavior of Feral Monk Parakeets

Thomas Beard Trocco
OverviewProcedure for teachersStudent Resources and Materials
Grade Level
Time Alloment
 Two 40-minute meetings


Students will view clips from a Wild TV segment about feral monk parakeets living in Brooklyn. They will take an online quiz as a baseline self-assessment. Teams will then use the Internet to research monk parakeet behavior, share their findings as a jigsaw, re-take their baseline self-assessment, and reflect on what they have learned. The lesson will close with teams using the Internet to examine studies by other students, designing their own behavioral study, and sharing their proposals in a poster session.

Learning Activities

Students will be able to:
  • Use the Internet to research the behavior and ecology of feral monk parakeets
  • Design a monk parakeet behavioral study
  • Post their results to a Web page


National Science Education Standards, 5-8, National Research Council, 1996

Standard A
Develop abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry; understandings about scientific inquiry.

Standard C
Develop an understanding of the characteristics of organisms, life cycles of organisms, and organisms and environments

New York City Middle School English-Language Arts Standards

Standard E1c
Reading: Read and comprehend informational materials

National Educational Technology Standards for Students

Standard 4. Technology Communications Tools
Students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.

Standard 5. Technology Research Tools
Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.
Students use technology tools to process data and report results.

Media Components


Wild TV #1: Wildlife in the City

Nature #1511: Wild Side of New York

Web sites:

Monk Parakeet Project Web Page, Brooklyn College
This site presents research on feral monk parakeets in Brooklyn by graduate students in the Masters Program in Elementary Science & Environmental Education at Brooklyn College, with special emphasis on location, behavior, and food. It also includes a lesson plan to research the monk parakeets.

Stanley's Quakerville
This Web site includes photos, audio recordings, and comments about wild quakers (monk parakeets) and other parrots seen in backyards, mainly in South Florida. It also contains over 50 articles on keeping monk parakeets as pets.

The Birds of North America
This Web page includes excerpts from Birds of North America: The Monk Parakeet, by Mark F. Spreyer and Enrique H. Bucher, 1998.

Monk Parakeet Research
This is an incredibly rich resource that contains information on the research of Monk Parakeets, a quiz, sightings, photos, links to other sites, puzzles, and pop-up quizzes.

Univ. of Texas Department of Education
This site will give you a rich source of information about monk parakeets, including photos, calls, and specific information about monks in Austin, Texas.

Institute for Biological Invasions
This site is sponsored by The Institute for Biological Invasions. It presents a variety of information about monk parakeets, with emphasis on their invasive nature when introduced.


Java-Capable Browser
The puzzle on requires a Java-capable browser.

Real Audio Player
To play the audio clips, you will need Real Audio Player, available free at


Materials: Introductory Activity

Per team of students:

  • Monk Parakeet Fact Sheet
  • Monk Parakeet Field Study Summary Chart
  • Monk Parakeet Field Study Planning Chart