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  #1  
Old 02 October 2009, 08:41 AM
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Default London's feral parakeets

The UK's population of feral green parakeets is growing at an estimated rate of 30% per year (currently estimated at 7000) mostly in the London area. The reason for posting is because I spotted this parakeet-related UL:

Quote:
Theories as to how the exotic birds came to make their home here include the urban legend that they escaped from a container at Heathrow airport during filming of The African Queen in 1951.
I hadn't heard that UL before. I just thought they were escaped or released aviary birds. The UL was mentioned in this news story on the changed status of the parakeets.
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  #2  
Old 02 October 2009, 03:52 PM
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The population of Rose-ringed Parakeets in Amsterdam is said to have descended from a single pair released on purpose in the '70s. The guy responsible fed them for years until he became too old. Those in Brussels were also deliberately introduced.
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Old 04 October 2009, 05:57 PM
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The Daily Mail's take on this story is somewhat predictable:-

Plan to legalise parakeet shoots branded 'racist' by wildlife experts

There's a prize if you can work out why they've used the word racist in the headline when none of the experts did.
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Old 04 October 2009, 06:33 PM
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Strangely the BBC article ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8284962.stm ) does not mention anything about 'racism'. It also says that the population is put at an estimated 44,000 rather than the 7,000 as mentioned in the OP.
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Old 04 October 2009, 06:34 PM
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Tarquin Farquart Tarquin Farquart is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew of Ware View Post
Strangely the BBC article ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8284962.stm ) does not mention anything about 'racism'.
Strange that...
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  #6  
Old 04 October 2009, 07:08 PM
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We had a parakeet handed in at work once, someone found it on the building site next door and captured it in a bucket. Very shabby looking it was, all the feathers from round its neck had fallen out (or had been pecked out by other birds) so it may have been an escaped pet rather than feral.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
There's a prize if you can work out why they've used the word racist in the headline when none of the experts did.
Is it 'it's political correctness gone mad' gone mad?
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  #7  
Old 04 October 2009, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew of Ware View Post
Strangely the BBC article ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8284962.stm ) does not mention anything about 'racism'. It also says that the population is put at an estimated 44,000 rather than the 7,000 as mentioned in the OP.
That's interesting - it was 7000 in their original article (I cut and pasted the text then summarised it) which didn't sound a huge population to me. 44000 seems much more grounds to allow shooting of nuisance populations.

With the decline in species due to habitat destruction and pollution, anything that can survive in our cities tends to be a bonus these days. That would be seagulls, pigeons and parakeets in urban areas, and seagulls, pigeons and magpies on the outskirts. There are even some canaries loose in parts of South London (escapees), but they don't survive harsh winters. My uncle used to breed and show canaries and he sometimes had feral canaries attracted to the aviaries.
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Old 05 October 2009, 01:21 PM
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We have a couple flocks of feral birds locally. I had heard the rumors but never really believed them until I saw them while sitting in a park one afternoon. It was a motley crew of parakeets, finches, parrots and a couple other birds I could not identify. They are all supposed to be escaped pets. It is quite a sight to see them. My guess is they banded together for survival.
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Old 05 October 2009, 01:26 PM
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For a similar situation in the US, I recommend the superb documetary, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. No one really knows where they came from, either.
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Old 05 October 2009, 02:17 PM
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Tarquin used to tell me off because I heard birdcalls in his area that were not crows, starlings etc, but sounded like something from a wildlife documentary and I kept mentioning these to him. Eventually I saw a flight of parakeets over his street at the same time as the unfamiliar calls. Until then I hadn't realised they'd infiltrated his part of London. Never managed pics of them there or at Richmond, but snapped a few at Barnes Wetlands centre (which attracts all sorts of birds, not just waterfowl) where there are feeders to attract them.
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  #11  
Old 05 October 2009, 03:19 PM
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There used to be a species of parakeet indigenous to Georgia and the Carolinas, the Carolina Paroquet, an attractive member of the parrot group:

Once the birds existed in vast flocks. Alas, the birds were deprived of their natural food, cockleburs, when much of the land was cleared for farming, and they adapted by raiding crops. That and the demand for their colorful feathers led to their being hunted to extinction, with the last known specimen dying in captivity in 1918. I've often wondered if escaped budgies might be able to take over their ecological niche.
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Old 05 October 2009, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
For a similar situation in the US, I recommend the superb documetary, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. No one really knows where they came from, either.
Great movie & subject too.

Tell ya what, we'll trade you all the parakeets for several thousand white tail deer.

I'd rather have a parakeet overpopulation than the deer problem we have now. We used to have 2 seasons we had to worry about deer, spring (baby season) & fall(mating season). There used to be certain areas where you really had to watch it, those country roads & any road near the wooded areas.

Now it's year round & deer crash into living rooms, into stores in the cities, they get hit by cars on large highways & small roads, they're freaking everywhere.

So we'll just crate 'em up & send them over there in exchange for those teeny little birds who won't total cars & kill folks.

Unless they come at you en masse, then you can keep 'em.
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