Alien Encounter

Ring-necked Parakeet close to Chorlton Water Park
Great to have an opportunity to visit a local woodland during daylight over the Christmas and New Year break.

The unmistakable sound of Ring-necked Parakeets arriving shortly after dawn has become increasingly common. Quite surprising to see them excavating a new nesting hole on 2nd January. With at least 3 pairs now using the wood it looks like the population will continue to steadily increase.

Ring-necked Parakeet excavating a nesting hole Checking a nesting hole for size
Home sweet home ?
Considered to be a naturalised, non-native species there’s little evidence of Ring-necked Parakeets affecting the local bird population. With a formidable bill excavating a nesting hole is a simple task.

Elsewhere in Europe concerns have been expressed about them out competing Nuthatches for nesting sites however with the local Nuthatch population also increasing there doesn’t appear to be a problem. The arrival of Ash dieback is likely to guarantee a plentiful supply of dead wood suitable for excavating a nesting hole in for the foreseeable future.

With such an early start to nest excavation the only concern is whether there’s an effect on the Noctule bats that have traditionally overwintered in the same group of trees.

 Ring-necked Parakeet
Surprisingly the parakeets haven’t attracted the attention of the local Sparrowhawks. Its not as if they’re difficult to find and with a pair of Sparrowhawks regularly nesting close by they’d be a relatively easy meal in particular for the larger female Sparrowhawk. Even the Crows and Magpies appear to give them little attention.

Until anybody can provide evidence of a negative impact as far as I’m concerned they’re a welcome addition to the local birdlife.

Pair of Ring-necked Parakeets Admiring his handywork
 The happy couple