A pair of Parakeets on Clapham Common 27th Jan 2017
To some, the Parakeets in Battersea are feral, and a pest endangering native species, there is little in the way of evidence that this is true. Although historically there have been situations where invasive species have decimated local wildlife, anecdotally the parakeets appear to successfully occupy the same space as a rich repertoire of avian residents; Magpie’s, Jays, Rooks, Pigeons, Robins, Tits, Ducks, Gulls, Geese, Herons, Coots, Moorhens and a multitude of other small birds, I have no data that these species are declining (and I have made no attempts to take any) but to me they are wonderful.
When you start to blog on a subject it pays to do a bit of research, get a little background on your subject matter. I have done some reading on our feral neighbours here in Battersea. What very quickly becomes clear as I read around is that there are very few facts. The birds have a botanical name and a classification. Where they come from appears to be the subject of little more than rumours. Estimations as to their number vary from anything from five to sixty thousand birds in London, that strikes me as really, ‘nobody knows’, and I have no clue as to how you would accurately estimate the number of non-native birds in a diverse and geographically spread place. Even facts as to their simple habits, such as what they eat, when and how they breed appear to differ wildly from writer to writer.
Currently, the winter is at its zenith, the sky is grey and this tone is matched by much of the other wildlife. If you are lucky and you keep your eyes in the sky as you walk through Battersea you may catch a glimpse of green in the city this winter.
If you are not so lucky I have recorded some images of the feral Parakeets of Battersea for you.