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May 25th, 2009


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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.

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Comments:


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From:kalypso_v
Date:May 25th, 2009 10:31 am (UTC)
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Oh yes, Evil Invader Parakeets. I saw some in Kirkby Stephen in March.
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From:communicator
Date:May 25th, 2009 10:55 am (UTC)
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I can't imagine how they survive the winter, but they obviously do. Do you think they harm indiginous species?
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From:kalypso_v
Date:May 25th, 2009 11:03 am (UTC)
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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.
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From:watervole
Date:May 25th, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC)
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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.
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From:communicator
Date:May 25th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
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Are they? I saw plenty of jackdaws in Richmond, but I suppose that mainly indicates the wealth of suitable nesting spots.
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From:watervole
Date:May 25th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
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It's not a totally overlapping niche. Jackdaws prefer bigger holes when there's a choice.
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From:sheenaghpugh
Date:May 25th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
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I've seen them too. There are loads in Barcelona but it surprised me to see htem in London!
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From:communicator
Date:May 26th, 2009 06:41 am (UTC)
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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.
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From:hutch0
Date:May 25th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
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I've seen them in St James's Park.
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From:communicator
Date:May 26th, 2009 06:45 am (UTC)
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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.
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From:hutch0
Date:May 26th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
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The first news items I remember seeing about them were ten or twelve years ago and they were in Blackheath.

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