Several examples of ring-necked parakeets, an exotic bird in bright colors, have been spotted in the parks of Bourg-en-Bresse this summer. Should we fear proliferation? Installed for many years in the great cities of Europe, the exotic species extends its range and seems to find its equilibrium in our latitudes.
With its flamboyant green plumage, black collar and orange-red beak, the ring-necked parakeet hardly goes unnoticed. Even drowned in foliage, it fails to be entirely discreet. If its plumage does not really serve as a camouflage, its large size, its high-pitched cry, unusual in our latitudes, make it even more visible. In Bourg-en-Bresse, in the parks, some residents have been surprised to see them in recent months. Discovering this bird native to the tropical forests of sub-Saharan Africa or the Indian subcontinent is unexpected.
“I started seeing some in the spring,” explains this burgienne whose ear was attracted to unusual screams. “They don’t look like the birds we usually have here. And then looking up, it flew away and now it seems to me that there are more and more of them.”keep on.
In the parks of Bourg-en-Bresse, wild ducks, moorhens and pigeons are habitually common. But recently this territory has also become that of the rose-ringed parakeets. This exotic bird appears to have gotten used to the places and established its neighborhoods in green spaces.
An approximate census shows about twenty specimens in the Indian capital. Still a rather limited number. The green space department has been detecting the presence of this bird for about six years. “It is a new species in our latitudes. Bourg is no exception. For decades there have been some large cities in Europe, even further north. No surprise, no concern for these parakeets”, explains Sébastien Guéraud, deputy mayor of Bourg-en-Bresse.
The whole of Europe is in fact affected by the phenomenon. There would be 30,000 ring-necked parakeets in London, 10,000 in France, mainly in the Paris region. They are also present in Italy, Germany and Portugal. These birds, prized by collectors, ended up in the wild after escaping their owners or during transport accidents. Now, these parakeets are proliferating in urban areas.
But if the inhabitants are under the spell, these birds are still considered an invasive alien species. This parakeet appeared in the Lyon region in the 2000s. Eric Bureau, a veterinarian at the Bird Park in Villars-les-Dombes, is not surprised by its presence in the Bourg-en-Bresse sector.
It is an animal that remains urban and peri-urban. He has not yet settled in the countryside.
Éric Bureau, Bird Park veterinarian
Can the ring-necked parakeet compete with local birds? Eric Bureau is formal: “On food, with other birds, not a priori!”. The exotic bird feeds mainly on fruits and seeds. However, the same is not true for housing. “There are doubts, studies have been conducted in Belgium. These are birds that nest in hollow trees. But hollow trees, there are not many left. These parakeets may compete with other local birds that nest in hollow trees such as nuthatches. “, continues the vet. But how can it survive in our latitudes? This bird is not afraid of the cold and has good adaptability, according to the vet. “He took advantage of a free space to settle, where he was not competing with other birds”, he says. And so far he had few predators. And coexistence with Man? ” It is an animal that remains urban and peri-urban. He has not yet settled in the countryside. So no damage observed on agriculture in our countries “adds the vet.
The rose-ringed parakeets have settled in Bourg-en-Bresse
© France tv
The Villars-les-Dombes Bird Park features another invasive species: the monk conure, an American parakeet.