Dear Parrots magazine,

The cull

It appears the issue of culling feral parakeets is going to continue, and I am in total agreement with the editor’s ‘Soapbox’ in the October issue of parrots.

It always amazes me how the authorities knee-jerk into action when an apparent problem crops up, just like the dangerous dogs debacle going back a few years.

These parakeets are not causing any problems at all, and just because there have been isolated incidents in the United States, doesn’t mean to say the same will happen over here in the UK. The feral Ring-necked Parakeets create much interest and pleasure to many people, and I really don’t think they unduly frighten away other songbirds from bird feeders in people’s gardens. Their presence is often welcomed and I know of people who put out bird feeders just to attract the Ringnecks. Sure, the Monk Parakeets do build large communal nests, but I have yet to know of one single problem that they create in the UK.

One of the biggest problems we all face is the ignorance of local authorities that clearly do not understand feral parakeets. They go blindly in with both feet and create a problem, and anger, with local residents, when there is no need at all.

I would strongly suggest that DEFRA and Natural England consult with psittacine experts and try to understand the issues from a scientific basis, rather than from knee-jerking. Only then will we get back to common sense and stop this unnecessary culling of such fascinating birds.

William Bluntall - by email



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