Birdline Victoria Update - 13 February 2005: escaped exotics

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Birdline Victoria Update - 13 February 2005: escaped exotics
From: "michael norris" <>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2005 19:20:57 +1100
"A Psittacula parrot (presumably safely able to be assumed to be an escape) on an overhead power line ......"

No, no, no, NO !  Not safe at all.

See our 2000 thread on "Exotic Birds - An early warning system".

Haven't seen the report for the federal government yet. Hope Penny Olsen put Psittaculas high on the danger list.

I reckon we should all assume any Psittacula is wild or potentially wild. And should therefore be collected in the most humane way possible and as soon as possible.

In October 2002 I mailed Birding-Aus to say:

"Yes the Psittacula parrots ...reported recently (Ring-necked/Rose-ringed Parakeets P.krameri, Alexandrine Parakeet P. eupatria, hybrids between these two and ? other species) are lovely birds. But they need to be returned to captivity as soon as possible.

P. krameri has gone feral in England, taking over nesting hollows from other birds. And in Barcelona I was amazed to see this June that it is the most numerous bird in the city after the feral pigeon, house sparrow and common swift... It could spread rapidly here to the disadvantage of native birds and ecosystems...".

Since then Robert Read told us that P.krameri has gone feral in Arabian cities. And in England - at much lower latitudes - the population growth rate is estimated as 30% with a report last Sept/Oct of 10,000 in a single field. There are statements about their not yet having any recorded effect on native wildlife there but about 15 years ago I saw a pair entering a hole in Regents Park, central London, previously occupied by one of the few Stock Dove Columba oenas pairs in the area.

And today me and my mates in the Bayside Friends of Native Wildlife set out to collect a pair of Barbary Doves Streptopelia 'risoria' nesting about 100m from where another pair had nested (and was collected) last March.

The pair had gone (butcherbird? rats? humans?). But when I was watching them on 4 Feb a dog walker told me that they were the same as the white pigeons that had babies near her home (2km away) before Xmas.

I've also saw them in 2000 near the home of a "mad inventor" who in 1998, I am told, had one at liberty in his Black Rock garden and was buying a mate to see how they got on.

Get out the nets (shotgun if necessary) for the birds and the chainsaw for ....

Michael Norris

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