May 25th, 2009
|08:30 am - Richmond Parakeets|
I've been staying with my brother in Epsom this weekend. I went on Epsom Downs, which is lovely, and for a walk in Richmond Park. It must be 25 years since I was there last. I don't know if it's global warming, but there are parrots living wild in the trees now. Well, parakeets.
Aha - I just googled, and in the US 'parakeet' is used to refer to what I would call a budgie. I don't mean those, I mean a larger, bright green bird, like this or this. I didn't notice whether they had a ring neck.
They have obviously survived the harsh (harsh for the UK) winter. I saw one or two flying up to a hole in a tree and putting their heads inside, so I think they were feeding chicks. There were several flocks of about a dozen each. I wonder if they shelter inside the hollow trees when it is very cold.
Oh yes, Evil Invader Parakeets. I saw some in Kirkby Stephen in March.
I can't imagine how they survive the winter, but they obviously do. Do you think they harm indiginous species?
A piece on the BBC site
a couple of years ago says they originate in the foothills of the Himalayas, so it's not such a shock to them. It described them as a potential rather than actual threat.A later Telegraph article
was more anxious, though they couldn't show a causal relation between the rise of parakeets and the decline of native birds.
Escaped pets that settled in and bred. They've spread across several counties now. Even in Dorset, I'm told. They're displacing rooks and jackdaws as they use the same nest holes.
Are they? I saw plenty of jackdaws in Richmond, but I suppose that mainly indicates the wealth of suitable nesting spots.
It's not a totally overlapping niche. Jackdaws prefer bigger holes when there's a choice.
I've seen them too. There are loads in Barcelona but it surprised me to see htem in London!
They are obviously extremely hardy birds. I am listening to Blue Mars at the moment, and it made me think about the terraforming of Mars - warming up the land.
|Date:||May 25th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)|| |
I've seen them in St James's Park.
As kalypso says, it must be due to the birds being quite hardy, because there don't seem to be many other tropic species coming in. I haven't seen them up here in the midlands at all.
|Date:||May 26th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)|| |
The first news items I remember seeing about them were ten or twelve years ago and they were in Blackheath.