Birds nests and power line workers are making for a bad combination

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Monk Parakeets don’t know utility poles from the North Pole.

But, the popular pet has taken a liking to the tops of Austin Energy poles, making life difficult for the birds, utility workers and conservationists.

Currently, Austin Energy has a policy of removing Monk Parakeet nests from the tops of poles when work is done and the baby birds inside the nests are killed.

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That move isn’t taking flight with conservationists, who are getting their feathers ruffled by the idea. Story continues below.


Austin Energy spokesman Robert Cullick told KTBC-TV that the nests, make up of sticks, can get quite large and impede workers and are a combustion hazard on top of transformers.

Cullick said crews remove a handful each year, but only to stop outages and prevent fires.

Travis Audubon Society member Jordan Price called the treatment of the Monk Parakeets, a popular pet not native to Texas, cruel and said other cities, including Dallas, have found humane ways to remove the nests.

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The society is recruiting volunteers to follow Austin Energy crews and look out for the birds.

Now that the controversy has taken flight, it seems unlikely to find a landing spot soon.

While Monk Parakeets aren’t endangered, Texas is home to a variety of birds that are. Scroll through the gallery above to see which endangered birds call the Lone Star State home.

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