A Chattering of Parakeets

I thought I’d write a little post in honour of the birds that started this blog, the rose-ringed parakeets of South London. It’s been a few months since I began my journey into the wonderful world of birding and wildlife blogging. I’ve connected with so many people through WSL and I feel like I owe a thank you to these noisey, tropical invaders.

Bird Lady

Under a pine in Vondelpark

the Bird Lady has fashioned

an impromptu feed-table,

arrives each morning laden

with bags of sunflower seeds

and kibbled maize and proceeds

to feed the feral Rose-rings

(Psittacula krameri,

40 centimetres,

general plumage green,

yellowish underwing,

in male, rose collar encircling

hindneck, nape suffused

bluish) and Alexandrines

(Psittacula eupatria,

58 centimetres,

a group of pristine males,

occiput cheeks

suffused with bluish-grey,

black stripe through lowercheek,

pink collar encircling hindneck,

red slash on secondary coverts,

massive vermillion bill,

call – a skreeching kee-ak),

which, were it not for her

genial dottiness,

would not survive the severe

calorie-wasting winter,

and we would be undernourished.

Peter Reading

The first decent picture I managed to take of a parakeet was in Regent’s Park, technically not South London. I had just been visiting my friend Cass at London Zoo when this bold little chap flew onto a branch right in front of me. I particularly like the contrast of his bright green plumage against the cherry red leaves.

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This next set of pictures was taken in Crystal Palace Park in the trees that line the walkway from the Sports Centre down to the bottom of the park. I was completely surrounded by the birds, squawking away. I spent about an hour trying to capture their bullish character.

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Studying these birds has become something of an obsession. Walking through the woods on my birthday with some friends, we came across a small flock persecuting a squirrel. I’ve noticed this behaviour on several occasions but have yet to capture it with my camera. First the grey squirrels wipe out the red squirrel, then parakeets take on the greys? This poser of a parakeet, in Shirley Hills, had just chased a squirrel out of a tree that was clearly just for him.

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Parakeets like to gather in large groups, often around hollows in trees. I found this chatter (apparently the collective noun for parakeets) guarding a hollow in a tree in Beulah Heights. They were taking it in turns to pop in and out of the tree. I watched them for quite some time.

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This last group of Parakeets were viciously competing to perch on a particular part of tree in Richmond Park. I took a short film of their battle. My interest in birds has accelerated greatly since my curiosity was peaked by the rose-ringed parakeets. I have a lot to thank them for.

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3 thoughts on “A Chattering of Parakeets

  1. A Protest of Parakeets

    The weather today is too windy,too hot,too wet ,too still

    That bird is not one of us ,go away,don’t come back!

    They are trimming the leaves?

    Our leaves? The ugly ones with no feathers who do not fly?

    They come with machines to strip our homes?

    Screech my Brothers!

    We shall be heard .

    They call us Ragamuffins ,

    We the jewel bright

    The admired of our Faithful

    A Glory,a Splendour,a Wondour,

    A Voicing ,an Earnest, a Ruling,

    (Parakeets on the Costa del Sol )

    Liked by 1 person

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