Ring-necked Parakeet – Psittacula krameri

This was quite a long shot, and I was probably stretching the camera I had at the time to the max. However, I heard the squawk of this bird before I laid my eyes on it, and then I barely saw it for it was right at the top of an old oak tree some distance off, and its ground colour blended quite well with the foliage.

Also called the ‘Rose-ringed Parakeet’, these are the world’s most northerly breeding parrots. They became established in the UK in the 1970s after caged birds were released or escaped, and are now Britain’s most abundant naturalised parrots. As already mentioned, this bird draws attention straight away with its loud squawking call. It has bright green plumage with a long tail. It also has a short, bright red bill and red eye-ring. Males have a black chin and a dark neck-ring with a red nape. Females have a plain green head, as can just about seen above.

They eat seeds and fruit, and also attend garden bird feeders. They nest in tree holes and lay 3-6 eggs in up to 2 broods, beginning early in the season. They can live for up to 30 years.

Seen all year round. Mainly found in urban or suburban habitats, such as open woodland, parks and gardens. An introduced breeder, either deliberately let loose or an escapee. Originally from India. Established mainly in southern England, but spreading northwards.