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Parakeet Lawsuit Dismissed
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A Monk Parakeet nest: Courtesy of National Biological Information InfrastructureA Monk Parakeet nest: Courtesy of National Biological Information InfrastructureA Superior Court judge in New Haven has dismissed a lawsuit over the capture and killing of wild parakeets that live along Connecticut’s shoreline.

Monk parakeets, also known as Quaker Parakeets, were brought to the US as exotic pets in the 1960s. Some escaped and established colonies in the wild. Thousands of the lime-green birds now live along the state’s shoreline. They build huge nests made of twigs and sticks. Some nests weigh up to 200 pounds. The birds like to build their homes on utility poles, and that poses a public safety risk – according to United Illuminating, which estimates dozens of power outages in the last five years. In 2005, UI launched a program to remove the nests. Parakeets were captured and then euthanized.

Danbury-based Friends of Animals brought a lawsuit against UI in 2006, calling for an injunction against the capture or killing of monk parakeets. The group supports the construction of alternative nesting platforms.

But in court UI’s Attorney Jonathan Freiman argued that Connecticut’s Environmental Protection Act allows the company to remove the birds.

"The legislature has given the right to capture or kill monk parakeets when are they concentrated in such numbers as to constitute a public health or a public safety threat."

Judge Anthony DeMayo agreed and dismissed the case. However, he said he was doing so reluctantly and acknowledged that he was disappointed in the way the case had been presented by Friends of Animals.

Outside the courthouse, Waterbury resident Donna Dwyer said she was saddened by the decision. Dwyer runs a ctquakers.com, a website dedicated to monk parakeets. She says alternative nesting
platforms have been constructed in West Haven and they’re working.

"We have had two effective residences work, put up by people dedicated to trying to find another way to keep these birds safe."

Friends of Animals says it will appeal the decision.