- Tower Hamlets
Wild parrots are nesting in Bethnal Green trees, turning the urban neighborhood into a tropical “jungle.”
Local residents have spotted ten green parrots perched in trees near the Camel pub on Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green.
“It’s a jungle out here,” said Victor Neil, 74, who lives on Bethnal Green road, a couple of minutes away from the new parrot colony. He often goes to Victoria Park to see the parrots there, but isn’t so sure about his new neighbors: “They are pretty to look at, but they don’t make very nice noises.”
Amandine David, 40, of Stepney Green, passes the colony twice a week on her way to swimming at York Hall. She thinks it is quite unbelievable that tropical parrots can survive the British winter. David said: “I think it’s amazing to see this in London.”
A spokesperson for the RSPB told ELL that the parrots are “ring-necked parakeets, a non-native species that are growing in numbers.”
The ring-necked parakeet is characterised by its bright green feathers and a red circle around the neck.
It is London’s fastest growing naturalised parrot, with over 4,300 breeding in the UK.
The species has been around for more than 40 years, after captive parrots were released or escaped in the 1970s.
Although the parrots originate from the tropical countryside of West Africa, India and Brazil, the ring-necked parakeets have learnt to survive the colder British environment on food supplied to them from suburban parks and gardens.
The birds typically consume fruit, berries, nuts, seeds and grains. During the winter months when food is scarce, they depend on bird tables and garden feeders.
In Old Ford Road the parakeets are preparing for winter by settling down in a tree hung with garden feeders. Securing the food now only boils down to fighting the squirrels for the best pieces.