Thursday, 11 December 2014

Day 40 - Pleasing Parakeets?

Hi all today's Day 40 and, as you might know, my family has been to London recently and on the last day we went to Kew Gardens. In these gardens they have a great selection of wildlife as well as plants. Amongst these they have some beautiful bright green birds that I didn't expect to see. These birds are not native but have become naturalised, meaning they now live here. If you haven't guessed I'm talking about parakeets. Here are some facts about them:

  • They originate from the foot-hills of the Himalayas so despite looking exotic they can live in cold climates.
    Ring Necked Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
  • The RSPB estimates there are around 8,600 breeding pairs in the UK (and as many as 20,000 roosting birds - thanks David) but the bulk of this is in the South-East of England. Desepite this though they have no status as they are not native to this country.
  • It's the UK's only naturalised parrot
  • There are a number of theories as to how they came to be in this country and here are my two favourites. They escaped from containers at Heathrow Airport or they escaped from Shepperton Studios during filming of The African Queen.
    Parakeet going into its nest in a London plane
    Parakeet popping it's head out of its nest in
    a London Plane (Platanus x acerifolia)
  • Others say they bred from a pair released in Carnaby Street in the 1960s by Jimi Hendrix.
  • They're often found in flocks which can be quite large and noisy at roost sites.
  • There is concern that they are having a significant impact on the foraging habits of native birds which stay away from the loud and dominant parakeets.
  • Although they are not aggressive, their large size and noisy, squawky behaviour makes other birds wary.
  • They eat fruits, nuts, berries and seeds.
  •  They feed mostly in early morning and late afternoon with the middle of the day taken up by preening and loafing (sounds lie a great life :-)
There are lots of stories and sites with more information about these birds, here's a few links if you want to find out more:

Hope you enjoyed,


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