Page5

Feeding behaviour studies

Direct Feeding Competition

We are investigating direct competition for food between garden birds and parakeets. 

This is being achieved by a simple year long experiment in gardens around London regularly visited by parakeets.

A squirrel proof bird feeder has been put up in the garden for a yearlong observational experiment that will began in December 2011.

The data from each garden will be used to investigate the quantity of food consumed by the parakeets and how their presence affects the feeding visits of other garden birds.

Thank you very much to all those taking part

To fill in your weekly observation, please use:

Online weekly observation form

Garden bird feeding behaviour

  • We investigated the effects of the presence of parakeets on feeding behaviour of garden birds.
  • May 2010-March 2011 we installed bird feeders in gardens in London and up to 30km outside the M25.
  • We alternated the conditions at the feeders using a captive parakeet, a captive greater spotted woodpecker (used as a native species comparison to the parakeetand separate call recordings of both a parakeet and woodpecker.
  • Observations were then made, for each condition, to monitor the behavioural changes of garden birds.
  • we are currently in the process of publishing the results.

Thank you so much to all those that volunteered their gardens for the study.

Pop Dynamics

UK Rose-Ringed Parakeet

Population Dynamics

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parakeets roost together in trees at night. Gathering together at dusk and leaving at dawn. This provides an accurate means by which to estimate the population size, as if all roosts can be located, the entire population can be counted.

 

During the breeding season the numbers of birds roosting decreases as the females stay on their nests to look after their eggs and young. It is thought that the males continue to fly back to the roost at night. We can use the decrease in the amount of birds roosting to estimate the total number of breeding pairs in the population.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roost Counts

 

Since January 2010 we have been counting the total population of parakeets in the UK using quarterly simultaneous counts across all known roosts. This involves volunteers standing at all of the roosts at the same time and counting the parakeets as they fly into the trees.

 

Parakeet flock flying to roost at Wormwood Scrubs Jan 2011

Roost Locations

 

10 roost sites have been located across Greater London and Kent. We carry out simultaneous counts at these roosts every 3 months with the help of volunteers across London.

 

Our next count will take place on the evening of Sunday 1st July 2012. If you are interested in helping to count at one of these location please let us know at:parakeet@imperial.ac.uk

 

 

Do you know the location of any other parakeet roosts?

A true roost is identified by the presence of 100-15,000 parakeets gathered together in trees after dusk, as they arrive and settle down the squawking is very loud. A roost looks like the photo below, where the parakeets fly in on mass at dusk and leave at dawn. If you see parakeets in the trees during the day it is unlikely to be a roost. Roosts need to have over 100 birds for us to count them.

For more information on reporting a roost see Get Involved.

Dusk at West Ewell roost, January roost 2010  (Ian Owens)

Thanks to a fantastic team of volunteers the counts so far have been a great success.We currently estimate the UK parakeet populations to be over 30,000.

We plan to continue the simultaneous roost counts during 2011 and 2012. This will allow us to see how the population changes during the year and across years.

Population Dynamics

Parakeets roost together in trees at night. Gathering together at dusk and leaving at dawn. This provides an accurate means by which to estimate the population size, as if all roosts can be located, the entire population can be counted.

During the breeding season the numbers of birds roosting decreases as the females stay on their nests to look after their eggs and young. It is thought that the males continue to fly back to the roost at night. We can use the decrease in the amount of birds roosting to estimate the total number of breeding pairs in the population.

Roost Counts

Since January 2010 we have been counting the total population of parakeets in the UK using quarterly simultaneous counts across all known roosts. This involves volunteers standing at all of the roosts at the same time and counting the parakeets as they fly into the trees.

Parakeet flock flying to roost at Wormwood Scrubs Jan 2011

Roost Locations

10 roost sites have been located across Greater London and Kent. We carry out simultaneous counts at these roosts every 3 months with the help of volunteers across London.

Our next count will take place on the evening of Sunday 1st July 2012. If you are interested in helping to count at one of these location please let us know at:parakeet@imperial.ac.uk

Do you know the location of any other parakeet roosts?

A true roost is identified by the presence of 100-15,000 parakeets gathered together in trees after dusk, as they arrive and settle down the squawking is very loud. A roost looks like the photo below, where the parakeets fly in on mass at dusk and leave at dawn. If you see parakeets in the trees during the day it is unlikely to be a roost. Roosts need to have over 100 birds for us to count them.

For more information on reporting a roost see Get Involved.

Dusk at West Ewell roost, January roost 2010  (Ian Owens)

Thanks to a fantastic team of volunteers the counts so far have been a great success.We currently estimate the UK parakeet populations to be over 30,000.

We plan to continue the simultaneous roost counts during 2011 and 2012. This will allow us to see how the population changes during the year and across years.

Page4

Get Involved in parakeet research

  • Volunteer to count parakeets at our simultaneous roost counts
  • Send in your observations of a parakeet nest site
  • Report a roost location
  • Report observations of economic impacts
  • Help the Great UK Parakeet Feather Hunt!

Report a roost location:

The map below shows the location of parakeet roosts in London and Kent. A roost is identified by the presence of 100-15,000 parakeets gathered together in trees at dusk (when it’s dark), they will stay there all night and leave at dawn. The parakeets often settle in pre-roosts before heading to the final roost location, this can make it confusing to identify an actual ‘true’ roost unless you can see the parakeets there at dusk. If you know of any other ‘true’ roosts with over 100 parakeets please contact us atparakeet@imperial.ac.uk.

Join a Roost Count:

Volunteers are needed every 3 months to help count the UK parakeet population size

Next count: Evening of Sunday 1st July 2012 Help needed

Help is needed at roost locations:

South London

Hither Green Cemetery

Mitcham Common

West London

Perivale Park

Wormwood Scrubs

Stanwell

Redhill

Eton Wick, Slough

To find out more about roost counting contact: parakeet@imperial.ac.uk

For details on how we use the roost count data see: Population dynamics

Do you regularly have parakeets in your garden and use bird feeders? If so….

Volunteer your garden for the Bird Feeding Experiment

We are looking for people whose bird feeders are regularly visited by parakeets and who would be willing for us to put up squirrel proof bird feeders in their garden for a year long observational experiment that will begin in November 2011.

The volunteers will need to spare 20 mins per week for a year to watch their bird feeder and record the number and species of bird feeding from it (it won’t matter if a few weeks were missed here and there over the year)

This data will then be used to investigate the direct feeding competition between parakeets and garden birds.

If you are interested in taking part and would like to know more please email parakeet@imperial.ac.uk.

Report observations of economic impacts

Have you seen parakeets eating crops?

Have you seen parakeets damaging buildings?

Have you seen any agricultural or horticultural    impacts of parakeets?

Let us know:parakeet@imperial.ac.uk

The Great UK Parakeet Feather Hunt

Found parakeet feathers?

PhD student Hazel Jackson at D.I.C.E. ,University of Kent is investigating the genetic origin of the parakeet population in the UK and the prevalence of disease. She is able to get genetic and disease information from feathers.

Hazel says… “Our wild rose ringed parakeets are due to moult over the coming months. My PhD research at the University of Kent relies on these feathers to enable me to extract DNA and unravel the genetic makeup of these beautiful birds.Please help by hunting down these feathers and sending them to me.
Please also help by SPREADING THE WORD so I reach people all around the UK.”

If you find any parakeet feathers please post them in an envelope to Hazel Jackson at D.I.C.E. see link for details:wildparakeetsuk.co.uk

or email Hazel for more information: hj61@kent.ac.uk

Thank you so much to all those that have volunteered their time and gardens so far. This research wouldn’t be possible without you.