Spotted in Brunswick Square Gardens the other day – two pairs of parakeets, very noisily flying in and out of the high branches. Dog walkers say that these birds are regular visitors. to the gardens. Have you seen any in Bloomsbury? Let us know if you have and
where you saw them.
A recent report in the Telegraph said they are ‘remarkably successful, the most widely introduced species of parrot in the world, with naturalised populations in 35 countries on five continents. They have adapted notably well to life in suburbia, where they regularly feed at bird tables and on peanut feeders, as well as taking fruit, especially cherries and plums, from gardens and orchards. They are particularly partial to flower buds on trees, stripping them in spring.
Little wonder, then, that, having been celebrated as a curious oddity during the initial years of its colonisation, the parakeet is now regarded more cautiously. For one thing, their roosts – some containing thousands of birds – are noisy affairs, featuring repeated shrill shrieks from the treetops.
Questions are also now being asked about whether parakeets pose a threat by occupying all available nesting holes before most native species start breeding. Birds that could be affected include the jackdaw, stock dove, kestrel, starling, nuthatch and the larger woodpeckers. Some native species may also be losing out to burly parakeets at bird tables and birdfeeders, and studies are under way to find out if this is so.’