The Surrey Parakeets
Here in Surrey (and around other areas of London) we have a huge flock of rose ring-necked parakeets. They appear to be nesting along the River Thames and the nearby parks and can be seen and heard most days in my garden. There are thought to be around 50,000 birds nearby nesting mainly in the poplar trees at a local rugby club.
The origin of them is disputed but the most popular theory is that they escaped from Shepperton Studios nearby during the making of the film The African Queen in 1951. Apparently over twenty birds vanished from the set and it is thought that this is how the flock originated locally.
I love these birds and particularly their loud shrieking but many do not. There is now a movement by DEFRA to cull the birds by shooting or poison as they appear to be responsible for the gradual decline of native species because they are competing for the same food source..
|Eating fir berries|
|On the bird feeder|
|In the winter trees|
|In the garden|
|"Here's looking at you, kid"|
|Hampton Court next?|
Recipe By : Mrs Beeton
Serving Size : 12
Category : Poultry
Amount Measure Ingredient
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
12 Parakeets *
6 Thin slices of lean beef
4 Rashers of bacon
3 Hard-boiled eggs
1/2 ts Finely chopped parsley
1/4 ts Dried parsley
Finely grated lemon peel
Salt ; pepper
* Parakeets are a small, long-tailed tropical parrot.
Method: Prepare the birds, and truss them like a quail
or any other small bird. Line a pie-dish with the
beef, over it place 6 of the parakeets, intersperse
slices of egg, parsley and lemon-rind, dredge lightly
with flour, and season with salt and pepper. Cover
with the bacon cut into strips, lay the rest of the
birds on the top, intersperse slices of egg, season
with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with parsley and
lemon-rind as before; three-quarter fill the dish with
cold water, cover with puff-pastry, and bake in a quick
Time: About 2-1/2 hours.
Sufficient: About 12 persons
From Mrs. Beeton’s "All About Cookery", Ward, Lock and Co, Ltd;
Rose-Ringed Parakeet Information
Species:Rose-ringed parakeet, Psittacula krameri
Description: A large bright green parakeet, with a red bill, males have a pink and black ring round their neck
Native range: Sub-sahran Africa and the Indian Sub-continent
Diet:Generalist herbivores eating fruit, nuts, buds, leaves, blossom...
Habitat: Woodland, parks, gardens
Breeding: Male and female monogomous pairs, breeding maturity at age 3, clutch size of 3-4
Life expectancy: Reported to live up to 30 years in captivity
Nests: Cavities in trees, old woodpecker holes