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Green parakeets in London suburbia

Feral rose-ringed parakeet in a tree

I was very excited last week to see a green parakeet fly into our garden and land on a high branch of a tree. I grabbed the binoculars for a closer look. Crikey! There were two of them. I felt sure that they must have escaped from somewhere. After all, it’s not a species you’d expect to see in London. Or is it?

Apparently it is.

Having taken some photos for “evidence” that I didn’t imagine this (I’m a bit short-sighted and once claimed I’d seen a collie dog in our garden—on closer investigation, it turned out to be a large black-and-white cat, so I know that Dave is sceptical of my animal sightings in the garden), we then searched on the Internet to identify the species and find out more about it. The birds, we believe, are feral rose-ringed parakeets. And far from being a novelty, they are actually an invasive species which threatens our native birdlife.

Here’s a couple of articles about them.

This one’s from Wikipedia.

And this more in-depth one is from The Guardian.

It’s a real shame that these invasive incomers drive out our native birds, but I have to say it caused a flurry of excitement here to see such exotic birds in our suburban garden. When we lived in Delhi, these were as prevalent as sparrows used to be in the UK. I just never expected to see such things in London—and on a frosty morning too. I think they must be nesting nearby as I’ve seen them here again every day since the first sighting. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy my photo because I risked life and limb by hanging out of the open upstairs bathroom window to get it.

PG Author: Kay McMahon

Kay has been an expat for nearly 30 years. She set up the British Expat website back in early 2000, whilst living in London and missing the expat life. These days she spends much of her time lugging computers and cameras around the world. (Dave gets to deal with all the really heavy stuff.)

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