In a previous post (Rome-day 1), I reported seeing Green Parrots in the Borghese Gardens. It turns out they are Rose-ringed Parakeets, introduced from Africa and Asia. Only the males have the light rosy ring around the back of their neck, but both sexes sport a bright rosy bill and bright yellow-orange eyes.
This species has become an urban specialist; they thrive on the seeds, nuts, and berries of trees in urban parks, and have established large breeding populations in London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Lisbon, and several cities in Germany, as well as various sites in Florida, California, and Hawaii.
Rose-ringed, or Ring-necked Parakeets as they may also be known, are a favorite pet bird, dating from Greek and Roman cultures. They are excellent mimics, even of human speech, and can be taught to “speak”, which is probably why they have become so popular. Sadly, this characteristic ease in adapting to humans has resulted In their disappearance in their native Asian habitats, as collectors raid their nests.