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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Spanish Bird of the Week #9: Rose-ringed Parakeet

By James

::ROBERT'S NOTE:: Man, it's been awhile since I've posted anything... I've got a lack of Internets at the moment, what can I say. Still, I can't deny James a chance to post his Spanish bird of the week, so here it is!

Non-native species constantly cause fits for birders, especially those who are listers. European Starlings, European Collared-Doves and House Sparrow are all native to Eurasia, but through various means they have made their way across the pond and are now (unfortunately) well-established and recognized by the American Ornithologists Union as countable species.

Classifications like these take most of the ambiguity out of species counting, but what does one do with a less-established introduced population? It is generally accepted that released pets are not countable, or else I would have Blue-crowned Parakeet on my list, but can one count the small flocks of Mitered Parakeets that Robert and I saw flying over San Diego several years ago?

Not countable by anybody... but still awesome to see in urban Seville!

Thankfully the Rose-ringed Parakeets that live in Seville have a well-established population, and I have no qualms about counting this bird. These parakeets were easy to find in the many urban parks, but I also found them along the river and in the expansive Parque Alamillo. While I found them everywhere, the best place to get them was within the magnificent Parque Maria Luisa. While walking around it was unusual to not hear these loud squawking birds, and without to much effort I would often see 20 to 30 in a single visit.

They quickly became the equivalent of a Northern Cardinal to me, where I would hear them, know they what they were, and not pay them any attention, something I never thought could happen with a bird as magnificent as the Rose-ringed Parakeet

The knowledge that they were not a native species took away some of the enjoyment of seeing them, but I still loved seeing these bright green parakeets flying from tree to tree in urban Spain

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