Parakeets in London Live For 18 To 25 Years and Kill Millions of Songbirds

 

Introduction

 

At least 50 thousand make the Captial and the south east their home

Ring-necked Parakeet

In 2007, there were around 30,000 parakeets in the Capital. They measure between 42cm and 46cm and live for between 18 and 25 years.

By 2010, their numbers had swollen to roughly 58,000. In fact, a parakeet was spotted in every single London borough, for every one of the last 60 years. Throughout that time, they have been busy killing our garden songbirds.

Some bird watchers report that it is now more common to see one of these parrots than a songbird. They are still here when temperatures drop. Meaning that all year round; distressed numbers of songbirds are unable to nest safely, or breed.

One of the largest colonies of parakeets; numbering over 7,000 birds, can be found at a communal roosting site at Esher, southwest London.

Ring-necked parakeets, which originally came from the Indian sub-continent, are now thriving all over London and far beyond.

But does anyone ever bother to think what they are all eating?

Parakeets disturb, disrupt, interfere with and before expelling our native garden songbirds from their homes. They are severely reducing the native songbird population, adding to their existing burden of predation and making life very difficult for them.

On August 12th, 2011, the Evening Standard reported: that on an evening of classical music in Holland Park; besides the traffic, opera-goers had a new distraction to contend with – the cries of those “pesky parakeets”. Luckily they were mostly drowned out by some fine operatic singing.

The R.S.P.B. took the parakeet off their protected list. They said it was because it was damaging crops. More likely it was because they discovered that parakeets were attacking their beloved sparrowhawk and could remove its leg, with their powerful beaks. (Sparrowhawks, have had legal protection, from the RSPB since 1954 yet they can easily pull apart these minute little sparrows. To add insult to injury, they very rarely eat them).

The R.S.P.B. has done nothing to protect our own garden birds, with most of them heading for extinction! Their inaction is truly dismal, distressing and utterly deplorable.

In a letter to “Songbirds Slaughter,” a reader wrote…

The day the RSPB starts protecting songbirds is the day I return to its membership. However, the R.S.P.B. just keeps spending its millions on rearing sea kites, sea eagles, peregrines, goshawks, sparrowhawks, buzzards etc. The R.S.P.B. does not believe in sspendingtheir money on saving any garden songbirds.

 

Did You Know?

According to an urban myth, these lovely green birds were all supposed to descend from a pair of pets that somehow managed to escape. This is not true. The ring-necked and some other examples of the species hale from the Indian sub-continent.

 

Avian Housing Crisis

Parakeets will often wish to nest in the same sorts of tree-holes as the starling, willow tit and the lesser spotted woodpecker. All these birds are on the conservation red list of threatened and endangered species. Their plight is not helped by the “avian housing crisis” caused by the parakeets.

The Lesser Redpoll has declined rapidly thanks to the parakeet

The Lesser Redpoll

Much concern has also been expressed over another threatened species …the Lesser Redpoll. This is the smallest and the most brownish and cream streaked of the four different redpoll finches. The male has a red forehead, black bib, pink cheeks; throat, breast, and rump. It feeds amongst alders, spruce and birch trees; hanging upside down, for seeds. It takes insects in the summer when breeding and performs perfectly elaborate rattling flights, over their breeding area. Since the 1970s, the delightful little Lesser Redpoll is down to one-tenth in numbers and as such has also recently been moved to the loathsome, deathly Red List of Conservation Concern”.

If we are going to continue to be able to see and hear these lovely birds, we must do something to change R.S.P.B. policies on raptors, corvids, hawks, kites, buzzards, crows, magpies etc. and of course their beloved sparrowhawks. Their numbers have quadrupled in the last 40 years and are rapidly killing off many of our lovely garden songbirds.

But who is concerned? Not the RSPB? They don’t seem to be doing anything!

 

Ways You Can Help the UK’s Songbird Population!


• Join only truly grassroots charities and organizations. These are the ones that are really doing something and putting their money where the truth is – to save songbirds.

• Join: http://www.songbird-survival.org.uk

• Provide quality peanut mixtures from reputable pet stores, not corner shops.

• Provide sunflower hearts and fat balls

• Leave out finely-chopped kitchen scraps.