It's been unseasonably cold here in Austin. At least that is what the weather news people on the local NPR affiliate (KUT) tell me on my drive in to work. Weather.com tells me that the average high for today is 71 degrees with an average low of 51 degrees. Temps dropped below freezing over night last night and the high today was 47 - ten, TEN, degrees warmer than the high yesterday. Gross.
The cold weather has made our recent sightings around town of flocks of wild parakeets to be all the more surreal.
That's right, flocks of wild parakeets.
Source: Monk Parakeets of Austin, Texas
Imagine your driving through town and glance over at a cluster of your typical city birds. Some pigeons, some crow-like trash birds, and, wait, what? Parakeets? That's weird enough as it is, but with temperatures near freezing, tropical birds always look out of place. When we lived out in Spencer and drove into Bloomington everyday, there was a farm pond home to a large white egret that was there well into winter (snow on the ground, pond freezing over) and that was always strange too.
So, yeah, Austin (Texas for that matter) is home to wild parakeets. This article does a pretty good job of explaining.