Friday, August 03, 2007

A visitor

I've been hearing an unfamiliar screech noise outside for a few days now. Usually early in the morning, when I'm mostly asleep. I remember thinking that it sounded a bit like a small parrot, and wondering if once of my neighbours had got a lovebird or parakeet or similar.

And as I was watching a flock of juvenile starlings in my garden this morning, I happened to look over to the trellis archway just to the right of the small lawn. Some starlings, a collared dove and... something else. Something that looked green.

So I grabbed the bins and had a look at it. It's certainly nothing that's in my field guide! It's shaped like a ring-necked parakeet, with the long tail and parrot beak, blackbird-sized, but the colour is different. It's more of a minty green with white underneath. Very attractive, but I couldn't really appreciate it as I was desperately trying to think of how to catch it, because it's obviously not a wild bird and I can't see it surviving long.

Then it flew closer to the house, screeching. It landed on my bird table, and I braved going outside just in case it was tame and would let me approach it. I spoke to it and it looked at me with its head all on one side, listening. I took a few steps outside and then it flew off.

Help me out here Jan? I know you've done this before!

I'm going to put the rat cage I used for Porno bird out there, with food in. Can't think of anything else to do...


  1. Yeah, Pete, I think so. I had a quick google for images of "green white parakeet" and that's the one it looked most like.

    I didn't want to say that though, in case it wasn't and I showed my severe lack of knowledge of caged birds!

  2. Just phoned my local RSPCA, who say that they haven't had a report of a parakeet missing, but they took my name and number in case someone does get in touch with them.

    They said if I manage to catch it, to take it in to them. Not sure I will though... if I catch it I'll try to find the owners myself first.

  3. My first thought was that it was one of the London feral ring-necked parakeets just gone astray, but they don't have much white on them.

  4. It was rather like a ring-necked feral one, but was all white underneath. And the screech was softer.

    I haven't seen or heard it this afternoon.

    London to Chesterfield is a long way for a bird to travel!

  5. Hope you can catch it Anna. I don't imagine it will fair too well outside.

  6. Oh no Anna, it's so frustrating when you can get so near to them and then they are off. My first reaction to your description was a Quaker parakeet, but maybe Pete/you are right, especially if you've looked it up. There are a lot of wild Quakers around, there were even some reported flying loose round this way once. I believe there are some mixed in with the Surrey ringnecks. All you can do is what you are doing, put out plenty of food, so at least it won't starve to death, and hope it evades predators, and bide your time. Thats all I did with Rambo the Lovebird. Eventually, he was so fed up I think that he decided to roost near my aviary, and I got him as it was almost dark, by swiping at him with a net and getting lucky if you remember. Incidentally, my recent sighting of him was the only one, he flew off that day and hasn't returned. Either he's moved on or found somewhere else more to his liking than my garden this time, or worse....

    Good luck anyway, sorry can't be of more help really. The trap idea is good if you have the patience to sit and wait, we used to catch budgies like that when I was a kid, mum caught four that were flying free with the sparrows over a period of time. Don't see any nowadays, maybe they make cages more escape proof these days.

  7. Ah, I should have looked first, I've just checked and seen that Monk Parakeet and Quaker Parakeet are the same! I've learned something new!

  8. Porno bird was the nickname for the blue tit!