The Waltham Parrot

Ahead of next weekend’s opening of Woodberry Wetlands, I thought I’d share TWC’s first ever feature

Parakeet-Centre-Wildlife-Gardening-July2015-Daniel-Greenwood Credit: Daniel Greenwood/London Wildlife Trust

I first saw a flock of them last October at Hollow Ponds, Epping Forest. Without my glasses, I could just make out a cloud of luminous green accompanied by a tremendous squawking. The green cloud disappeared into treetops, but the squawking continued.

The friend I was with told me they were parakeets. She said they weren’t unusual and she sees them all the time.

But what were they doing here? And where did they come from? How does an exotic bird survive here?

Ring-necked parakeets (psittacula krameri) are not just surviving, but thriving in the UK. There are no exact figures but anything between 30,000 and 60,000 birds are said to exist on this island.

The ring-necked parakeet is the UK’s only naturalised parrot. They possess fantastic red beaks and glamorous long tails. Often kept as pets, they can be great talkers, and live well…

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