Ring-necked Parakeets are now getting a bit worrrying in our garden in Sheffield centre- a flock of 9 flew into our Oak a couple of days ago, so the flock-numbers are already building locally. These acrobatic, strikingly beautiful and noisy Parakeets are already building high numbers in parts of London, but up until now we have only had a handful. Not only do they eat a lot of the food needed by other species but, naturalising and breeding more, they will also be taking up many of the nesting-sites such as holes in trees that other birds have been using. So, will they settle at a sustainable level or out-compete native species? The jury is out at present but they are clearly successful as far north as Sheffield already. Conditions: A very wet day again. Rivers high and some flooding. Temperature: Max 7 Min 3 c.
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)
so the jury is out as to whether they will be culled in future. Conditions: rainy and grey. Temperature: Max 7 Min 1C.
The pair of Ring-necked (or Rose-ringed) Parakeets were back in the garden today, looking very elegant in the low sunlight- and unusually quiet. These birds, natives of West Africa and Lowland India, escaped or were released from captivity in the 1970’s and mostly colonise the south east, but we have had them for a couple of years in our Sheffield garden. The RSPB don’t support a cull yet, until proper research has been done on their impact on native species. It is the ear-piercing screeching that is the biggest problem her so far! Conditions: Sunny intervals. Temperature: Max 10- Min 7C.
Ring-necked Parakeet– The UK’s only naturalised parrot, here’s a first in our garden! It turned up, screeching, in the Rowan outside the window, in very low light, (hence blurring). A pair were reported yesterday in nearby Roe Woods. This could be female, as it appears to lack the ringed marking on the neck. First recorded breeding in 1969 in the UK, from escapee caged-birds, big flocks of these bright and loud birds are now
seen in the South East. A pair were also spotted in Sheffield in 2003. Conditions: Heavy showers and cool. Temperature: Max 7- Min 2C.