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Ring-Necked Parakeets – London, UK

What the heck are parrots from the Himalayas doing in London? No one actually knows how they got there, but a lot of people have guesses. Some say Jimi Hendrix released them on Carnaby Street, they were let go after filming of “The African Queen” or they got out of a broken crate at Heathrow Airport. It’s one of the great mysteries of this famous city.

The climate in the Himalayas is rather similar to that of London, so the ring-necked parakeets are doing very well for themselves in their new environment. It’s hard to count them all, but experts say there’s about 30,000 of them with an expected increase to 50,000 within two years. That’s a lot of new birds fighting for territory with native British species, a problem that has many people crying out for a cull.

Studies are taking place to determine whether such a cull is necessary, or even practical. The birds won’t be easy to target as they move fast and are relatively small. As people decide what to do about them, the ring-necked parakeets will continue doing what they do – eating, squawking and making baby parakeets.

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