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The Kingston parakeets, also known as the Twickenham parakeets, are feral rose-ringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri) that live in the suburbs around Kingston and Twickenham, South West London, England, and around some European cities numbering at least 6,000 in the UK, with some estimates suggesting the UK population could be as high as 50,000 individuals. The origins of the flocks are subject to speculation.
Origin of the flocks
How exactly the parakeet population first came to exist and thrive in wild in England is not known. Consistent with the first widespread photographs of the birds in the mid-1990s are multiple theories that a pair or more breeding parakeets escaped and/or were released. More specific introduction theories have been published such as that:
- parakeets escaped from the branch of Ealing Studios used for the filming of The African Queen — Isleworth Studios — in 1951
- parakeets escaped from damaged aviaries during the Great Storm of 1987
- a pair were released by Jimi Hendrix in Carnaby Street, London, in the 1960s
- a pair were released by the Blue Peter cast into the Blue Peter garden in 1990s
Parakeets in Britain
Escaped parakeets have been spotted in Britain since the 19th century, the first recorded sighting being in 1855. The numbers remained very low, however, until the mid-1990s, when the population appeared to start increasing rapidly. While parakeets have been spotted as far north as Manchester, they are most common in the south east of England, and the largest population (6,000 in a single flock) is believed to exist in the South London suburbs where, until 2007, the birds nested principally in Esher Rugby Ground, Esher. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) estimated that there would be a population of 50,000 wild parakeets in Britain by 2010.
- "Noisy parakeets 'drive away' native birds - Telegraph". Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/3869815.stm BBC article on the spread of the parakeets
- BBC article on Black Country parakeets
- Will Self on the parakeets
-  Blog documenting observations of the Parakeets in Battersea 
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