Bright green parakeets are scaring birds away from people's gardens, researchers have found.
The noisy rose-ringed parakeets, which are spotted all over Sutton and are particularly common in Carshalton Beeches, are an invasive species that have become more and more common in London in recent years.
Although their bright plumage makes them a popular sight, it turns out they may be having a detrimental effect on the area's indigenous species as their loud squawks and size is intimidating to other birds and they are scaring them away from feeders in people's gardens.
A study, by academics from, Imperial College London, the Zoological Society of London and the Natural History Museum, found evidence to suggest that garden birds are deterred from using feeders when the parakeets are around and the best thing to do is to stop the bright green invaders coming into your garden.
The study, led by researcher Hannah Peck, used a site in the area to collect results.
It concludes: "Exposure to parakeets influences the behaviour of native birds, resulting in reduced feeding and increased vigilance. These changes in behaviour are much more pronounced in the presence of a parakeet than in the presence of a dominant native species.
"The exclusion of parakeets from access to garden bird feeders might benefit native species through reducing the interference competition.
"In addition, exclusion of parakeets would simultaneously reduce the foraging benefits of urban areas for the parakeets, which may in turn limit the persistence of the parakeet populations.
"The exclusion of parakeets from garden bird feeders may provide an option for mitigating impacts of parakeets on garden birds."
Have you seen the parakeets in your garden? If so, contact reporter Mike Murphy-Pyle on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 8722 6359.
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