Not a Green Parrot

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.

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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.

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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.

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4 thoughts on “Not a Green Parrot

  1. I figured you’d ID these guys soon enough. I could tell they were true parakeets (as opposed to our “budgies” that are often sold under that name), but I couldn’t see the neck well enough in the first picture to be sure which one. Our local bird breeders usually refer to these as Ring-necked Parakeets, but I imagine there are several that could fall under that description, especially in captive bred populations. They are BEAUTIFUL birds.

  2. PS…your comments about unscrupulous criminals who raid nests and ship wild caught birds under appalling conditions are why I no longer hand-raise birds myself. At one time, I had 47 parrots of various sorts and sizes that I bred, but worries about the lack of controls over captive bred populations vs wild-caught (and often smuggled) birds made me very uncomfortable, and I got out of the business.

  3. It is sad to think how they have arrived in Europe and that they are not thriving in their place of origin. When I was in Barcelona in September I saw Monk Parakeets in the centre of the city, another species which can adapt to colder climes.

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