Over the last few weeks, residents of Radlett and Shenley have flocked to Facebook to share photographs of wild ring-necked parakeets roosting in their back gardens.
Parakeets have been sporadically sighted in the UK since the 19th century, but according to the National History Museum, it wasn’t until the 1990s that they became a familiar sight in Hertfordshire and beyond. It’s commonly theorised that the UK’s parakeets are the product of escaped pet populations.
But where did Radlett’s parakeets originally come from? Researchers from the University of Kent took DNA samples from the birds cared for at the National History Museum at Tring and discovered that the majority of wild parakeets in Hertfordshire are descended from Pakistan and Northern India.
Parakeets are mostly found in pockets of south-east England and Greater London.
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Photo Credit: Chris Gilbert