Saturday, May 14, 2011

Parakeets Overrun England

CS - Parakeet London
Getty Images
England has a parakeet problem. The colorful bird is enjoying a population explosion in London suburbs, devouring seed from feeders, fighting with native birds, and possibly threatening crops. No one knows why the parakeets have flourished. Possible reasons include residents putting out more food for them, planting berries they like to eat, the death of a predator, or climate change. Or it could be simply that once there are enough parakeets, it's easier for them to find mates, and they breed faster. In any case, the government is keeping an eye on them lest they begin to ravage crops as they do in India. “I was delighted when I first saw one in my yard, but when you have a flock of 300, it’s a different matter,” said Dick Hayden, a retiree volunteering to help take a census of London's parakeet population. “They eat all the berries. They ate all the food from my feeder in one day; it was ludicrous.”