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Flock of wild parrots brighten up Bethnal Green

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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.

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3 Responses to Flock of wild parrots brighten up Bethnal Green

  1. Graham Perkins

    December 1, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    The latest research indicates a population of over 30,000 parakeets in London. Thousands come into roosts in Esher and Halfpenny Green etc. There is a further substantial popluation in the Isle of Thanet Birmingham and Manchester have biggish colonies and there are reports from other parts of the UK. Many European cities have populations – I have seen them in Brussels, Lisbon and Barcelona.

  2. Pingback: Flock of wild parrots brighten up Bethnal Green « Popular Parrots

  3. Tim Webb

    December 3, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Parakeets have been living wild in London for a couple of centuries now, but numbers only really rocketed over the past two decades.

    We’re holding our Big Garden Birdwatch over the weekend of 26/27 January and I’m expecting ring-necked parakeets to appear in the top ten most common garden birds of some London boroughs.

    This year’s wet weather has taken a toll on many of our other birds this year, such as blue tits, wrens ansd robins.

    If you really want to help London’s wildlife and have access to some land, then plant wildflowers, allow grass to grow and develop seed heads and if you’ve room, plant a native hedge. If space is an issue, you can still help by growing nectar rich plants on balconies or windowledges and ivy along fences and on walls.

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