Bare trees appear full of leaves due to swarms of green parakeets
Think they’re leaves? Look again! Bare conker trees are overrun by bright green parakeets making them seem vibrant despite leafless branches
- A leafless tree was brought back to life by hundreds of green parakeets
- The parrots gathered on two trees by a BP garage in London yesterday
- Most parakeets in London are descended from Pakistani or Indian birds
A leafless tree looked as if it was alive again after being overrun by hundreds parakeets yesterday.
Images captured a huge swarm of the bright green birds looking just like leaves, in two conker trees above a south London BP Garage.
Both trees shed their leaves for winter, but the birds are making them appear green again next to the petrol station and Subway near Mitcham Common on Mitcham Road.
Close up, their vibrant red beaks and lurid feathers pack the bare branches in the night.
Parakeets grouped together in two chestnut trees next to Mitcham Common, making the the bare trees appear as though they have vibrant green leaves
Both trees shed their leaves for winter, but the birds made them appear green again
There are huge numbers of the wild parrots in and around London, but there is uncertainty over their origins in the UK
Ring-necked parakeets have lived in the UK for over 50 years, and were added to the UK pest list in 2010 as their numbers soared.
There are many rumours of how the parakeets arrived in London – two popular ones are Jimi Hendrix releasing two on Carnaby Street, and birds escaping from the set of the 1951 film African Queen.
However, most researchers reportedly believe the parakeets took over the Capital by being repeatedly released and introduced.
Scientists discovered most parakeets in London are descended from Pakistani or Indian birds.
In 2009 landowners were given the right to shoot and poison ring-necked parakeets without requiring specific permission
In 2021 Government officials considered shooting the so-called ‘grey squirrels of the sky,’ that are Britain’s fasted-spreading species of bird.
Between 1995 and 2015, parakeet numbers exploded by 1,455 per cent, with at least 170,000 of the bright birds currently thought to be in the UK.
Ring-necked parakeets could be culled as experts warn the birds pose an ‘urgent economic, society and environmental problem’.
The wild parrots compete against native birds – including blue tits and great tits – at garden bird feeders and can cause damage to orchards if their numbers continue to increase.
Most parakeet populations are found in London and the South East, but there have been spotted as far as Glasgow. Between 2017 and 2019, gamekeepers at Richmond Park shot 117 of the green birds
Between 1995 and 2015, parakeet numbers exploded by 1,455 per cent, with at least 170,000 of the bright birds currently thought to be in the UK
While most parakeet populations are concentrated in London, there are also large flocks in the Home Counties, as well as Birmingham, Manchester and even as far as Glasgow.
In 2014, experts from the University of Kent warned parakeets pose ‘an urgent economic, societal and environmental problem, as they are a main cause of global biodiversity loss’.
In 2009 landowners were given the right to shoot and poison ring-necked parakeets without requiring specific permission.
Between 2017 and 2019, gamekeepers at Richmond Park in London shot 117 of the green birds.
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