Friday, 30 December 2011

Surrey Parakeets

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?

Surveying Surrey

                                PARAKEET PIE

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
                          Puff pastry


* 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;
   Date unknown.

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


  1. I can't believe you posted the recipe!! I was just thinking how lovely they looked xxx

  2. They come out to Windsor and Slough too, noisy little whatsits, not sure I'd want to eat them though, LOL

  3. Thanks for the history though, I was telling my brother about them, but didn't know much apart from the colour and the noise- I shall send him the link!

  4. There is a few that hang ouut around Blackheath as well, don't know if they are connected to your flock.

    I laughed when I saw the recipe, but think I'll pass...

  5. why is there always someone who want to spoil the fun? We used to have large numbers of starlings that nested by the railway station...around the car park...they swoop and dive at dawn and dusk and make a wonderful show...people would come from all over to watch. It was "DECIDED" they were a nuscence and the trees they roosted in chopped down!! Howevr the birds moved themselves!! Now they are divided between a residental area and a local park...GO BIRDS xx

  6. ps NOT seen a recipie for starling pie...I'm sure Mrs Beeton would have one to investigate xx

  7. oh, leave em alone, they brighten up the place good recipe though not sure about parsley with lemon!!!


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