7th March 2019

Ring-necked Parakeet: I still find it astonishing to look up from working as I did today, here in Pitsmoor, to see such this bird a few feet away from the window. They are getting bolder and their numbers in Sheffield are increasing, as in many places. Stories of how they became established as breeding pairs in the UK are numerous– did they escape from the Ealing Film Studio’s in the 1950’s, during the filming of The African Queen, or were they deliberately set free by Jimmy Hendrix in the 1960’s? Did they escape from an aviary during the Hurricane of 1987? Whatever the truth, the milder winters have led to an estimated number in the wild in 2012 of 32,000, greater now. Because they start pair-bonding and occupying nest sites in autumn, earlier than our native tree-hole nesting species like Woodpeckers and Starlings, they may prove a threat to native populations, (not to mention to a good night’s sleep)

Ring-necked Parakeet

Male Ring-necked Parakeet in bright breeding plumage

so the jury is out as to whether they will be culled in future. Conditions: rainy and grey. Temperature: Max 7 Min 1C.

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