An unusual bird lands in Leeds’ Roundhay

Parakeet spotted by Joe EckersleyParakeet captured in Roundhay Park

The ring-necked parakeet can usually be found in it’s tropical home which spans from West Africa to the lowland Indian south.

The colourful green birds were first spotted in the South-East of England during the 1960s as a result of domestic escape. However, parakeets are now also being spotted by bird-watchers in the North of England too.

Experienced bird-watcher of 14 years, Joe Eckersley, has kept a keen eye on bird species and activity across many parts of England, particularly in West Yorkshire where he lives.

“It was only this March that we saw one. We saw it nearly everyday for a few months. Then I realised one day near the café in Roundhay Park that there were two. I took photographs of them, put the news out, and people started coming down to see the parakeets. Gradually over the next few months the numbers started increasing.

“Sunday evening I was walking around and I saw 22 just sat in a tree – only four days before the most I’d seen were 11,” explains Joe.

Two parakeets nestling on a tree in Roundhay Park Credit: Joe Eckersley

Despite the excitement in their incline, Joe admits that they can also cause potential problems to the surrounding eco-system.

“If you look at places where there are hundreds of them, you do see a noticeable decline in the other species of birds

“I’ve seen parakeets with the grey-spotted woodpeckers, blue-tits, long-tailed tits, probably about another seven species of birds; so at the minute they’re not causing any problems here yet – which is good.”

Indeed, the RSPB agrees with Joe’s rhetoric, writing on it’s website that it is “not in favour of a cull of parakeets at this time,” but believes, ”it is important that the spread of the ring-necked parakeet is monitored to ensure that non-native species do not adversely affect native wildlife.”

”It’s great; I love it. You get to see all sorts of things, in all sorts of random places,” Joe exclaims – and he’s not the only one.

Many bird-watchers are keeping an eye on these lovely creatures to see how they advance in their new habitat.

Instagram post by Emmie Penkett

About the Author

Hadiyah Ilyas and Emmie Penkett
Hadiyah Ilyas and Emmie Penkett are journalists for LeedsNow

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