‘Exotic’ migrants flock from London to Horsham
Increasing numbers of people are migrating from London towards Horsham since the start of the pandemic - but they are not the only ones.
Exotic-looking parakeets are also flocking south.
Sightings of the birds - which have colonised a number of London parks - are being reported around the district.
They have been spotted in the Tanbridge area of Horsham, near Sainsbury’s in the town centre, at Chesworth Farm, Horsham Park, Lambs Farm Road and at Leonardslee Gardens at Lower Beeding.
A spokesman for the RSPB said: “Ring-necked parakeets have established a healthy breeding population in south-east England and can also be seen in smaller numbers across the UK.
“Despite their tropical origin, they’re able to cope with the cold British winters, especially in suburban parks, large gardens, and orchards, where food supply is more reliable.
“They feed on a wide variety of fruit, berries, nuts, seeds, grain and household scraps.
“To date, research in the UK has found no evidence to suggest that parakeets are causing problems for our native woodland birds, such as through competition for nest holes, however it is important that the population spread is monitored over time for any potential negative effects on native wildlife and agriculture.”
The ring-necked parakeet’s native range is a broad belt of tropical countryside stretching from west Africa across India south of the Himalayas where it is a common bird.
In this country the colourful birds have become frequent visitors to bird tables and garden feeders, particularly during winter.
Ring-necked parakeets, like all birds living in the wild in the UK, are protected by law.