While waiting for family to assemble to go see the New Orleans Aquarium, I spotted a greenish parrot collecting nesting material from a nearby tree. Actually, there were several parrots at the busy intersection where I waited in downtown New Orleans, chattering and flying about. I watched while one bird worried one of the twigs about twice as long as its own body length back and forth for several minutes until it finally broke off, and then flew away with the cumbersome stick in its beak.
A week later, when I finally had an internet connection again, I have managed to identify the bird as a Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monarchus) or Quaker Parrot.
Monk Parakeets are the only parrots that build nests from sticks — other parrot species are hole nesters. Since they are highly social, pairs like to nest near each other, and often will construct huge apartment house type nests, with separate entrances for each pair.
Monk Parakeets are endemic to Argentina and other areas of South America, but have been introduced all over the world, and have adapted quite nicely to urban life in parks, as well as rural, farm life where they can be pests on various agricultural crops.
In addition to their success in adapting to a variety of environments, this species can tolerate temperate zone climates, and has established itself as far north in North America as New York, as well as in the UK and northern Spain. They are highly intelligent and social birds, and are popular as pets because they can learn a great variety of words and expressions.