Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Rose-ringed Parakeets in Amsterdam

Wild parakeets were not on my list of expected sights in Amsterdam — but I can now recognize Rose-ringed Parakeets by flight pattern and sound even when they are high in the distance, or invisible in the canopy leaves.

Looks like a stuffed toy, doesn't it? But my hunch is that this exotic species, which descended from a few birds that escaped or were introduced decades ago, shares the collective spirit of its dinosaur ancestors.

That's based on its call, which reminded me of a horde of attacking pterodactyls in an old scary movie when we first heard it in the city's Vondelpark.

It's possible that native woodpeckers see them that same way, as they may compete for nesting space in holes in trees. (Tough to imagine a parakeet living in a tree, but we saw them creeping in.)

Amsterdam's Rose-ringed Parakeets are strangely beautiful, with their bright green feathers (the males also have a pink neck ruff), and long pointy wings and tails. 

But, well, seeing wild South Asian birds here feels just a little strange...


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