Monday, September 25, 2006

Terrifying Hitchcock Parrots

More dodgy environmental journalism this week, this time in The London Paper; one of the latest free evening papers distributed in the capital. In the Green London section, a story titled, Surrey under siege: Parrots make life intolerable for locals, claims that the Esher Rugby Club parakeet roost is terrorising locals in ‘scenes reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s terrifying thriller The Birds’. Personally, I think the 7000+ flock must be the most impressive non-native wildlife spectacle in the British Isles. But then, my livelihood is not being threatened by them as some fruit farmers are claiming. These birds are Ring-necked (or Rose-ringed) Parakeets (Psittacula krameri) but the text does not even mention this and is accompanied by a random picture of a South American parrot (looks like a Conure sp.). Granted, there is the odd species with the Ring-necks but the writer could have researched the piece a bit more. Their natural distribution ranges across tropical Africa, through Asia to China – not Australia and South America as also claimed. An RSPB spokesman ended the piece saying: ‘…it is getting to the point where action will have to be taken’. I agree. Its time they installed a canopy tower to allow better views of them roosting in the poplar trees! Looks like they may be following the Ruddy Ducks…

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