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Ring necked Parakeets

It’s believed that there are about 30,000 Ring necked Parakeets (Psittacula krameri) living in the south east of England and the RSPB estimates that the population will rise to nearly 50,000 by 2010.

There are many myths about how the Parakeet came to be in England, there are stories of how they broke out of airport quarantine, they escaped from the set of the African Queen, they were escaped pets, the list continues.

Despite being used to more tropical climates the birds are able to cope with the British winter especially by living in gardens and parks where food is readily available.

Male Ring necked Parakeets have predominantly green plumage with a red beak and a pink and black ring around the face and neck, with a blue nape.  Females are the same, but without the neck ring.  Juveniles are like the female but their plumage is lighter (more yellow in tone) and they have a shorter tail.

They are very noisy birds with a shrill screeching call.

Although Parakeets in Asia are vegetarian, those which have adopted Britain as a home will eat all sorts of scraps as well as fruit, nuts and seeds. berries, fruits, flowers and nectar.  They’ll even eat meat. They usually feed early in the morning and late in the afternoon and are regular visitors to bird tables in the gardens of South East of England.

They start nesting in January, although sometimes they don’t lay eggs until June. They’ll nest in a larger nest box or an old woodpecker nest hole.  The nest is usually made from wood debris and feathers. Females lay between two and four smooth, matt white eggs which are about 30 mm by 23 mm.  The female incubates the eggs by herself and the resulting chicks are looked after by both parents.