Saturday, March 24, 2007

Invasion of the parakeets

Government scientists are to investigate the activities of the flocks of rose-ringed parakeets breeding in London's suburbs, amid rising fears that they may be harming native British bird species. It is feared that the parakeet, which is native to a great belt of land stretching from Africa across to India and the Himalayas, may be displacing British tree-nesting species such as woodpeckers, nuthatches and starlings.

Fears are growing that good, honest British birds are being marginalised as the parakeets take their jobs and distort the labour market as a whole by being willing to accept lower than average wages. But their impact is not only economic. Many of the good, honest British species are increasingly disgruntled by what they perceive as preferential treatment of the foreign species.

Woody Pecker, 28, from Croydon, said: "They know exactly what they're here for. These parakeets weren't born yesterday. They come over here because they know there's a pampered lifestyle on all the benefits they can pick up. They've all got their free Sky dishes and washing machines, but us good honest British birds are left to fend for ourselves. What next, will the council start replanting trees so they face the Himalayas?"

"They don't call this area Parakeetstan for nothing."

A Home Office spokesman admitted yesterday that it is unclear how many illegal parakeets are in Britain today. Despite not knowing which parakeets are living where, he said the unknown parakeets will soon receive text messages telling them they need to leave the country. Those whose identity is known will be electronically tagged, while a widespread cull is being considered.


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