Thursday, 22 March 2012

A Squawk in the Park

Pecking Order

Whist walking through my local park yesterday feeding the birds, it was not long before I heard our resident Ringnecked Parakeet. A very distinctive and rather loud bird, but on this occasion he seemed a bit more raucous. Also, some Jackdaws had joined in the chorus, so it was a rather noisy to say the least. Curiosity eventually got the better of me and I went off to investigate. I eventually found the Parakeet high up clinging to the side of a tree.
He seemed very curious about the hole in the tree and I soon realised there were two Jackdaws inside. Having observed this Parakeet now for some months, it has become apparent that the Parakeet has struck up a sort of relationship with the Jackdaws in the park and will often be seen flying with flocks of Jackdaws. They will roost together and rather unusually, the Jackdaws tolerate this intruder.

On this particular occasion though, the Jackdaws were not too happy with this nosey neighbour. Jackdaws will nest in holes in a tree so I assume this pair had made their nest and possibly they have laid a clutch of eggs. In the next two images you can see the head of one of the Jackdaws and what ensued was a clash of beaks.

This clash of beaks went on for some time until the Parakeet retreated to a nearby branch.

The Parakeet kept returning time after time, and on the final encounter both Jackdaws appeared from inside the hole.

The Parakeet beat a retreat for the umpteenth time to  a branch just off to the left.
The Jackdaws eventually emerged and flew to a nearby branch followed by the Parakeet who perched alongside the Jackdaws. They squawked for a while but no fighting ,and then the three of them flew off into the distance.
So, what was going on? My first thought was that this was birds defending their nest. Jackdaws will rob the young or eggs from other birds nests so is this what the Parakeet was doing? Well, obviously not because both Jackdaws would not have left the nest unguarded if they through there was a danger present. Once the Jackdaws had left the nest the Parakeet had no interest in the nest and it was obvious that the Parakeet`s interest was with the Jackdaws. Had the Parakeet struck up a strong bond with this particular pair of Jackdaws? Why is there this interaction with this pair and also the other Jackdaws? The Parakeet is a gregarious bird and in the south east of England where there are thousands of these feral Parakeets, they congregate in large flocks at winter time.
This particular Parakeet has now been resident in this park for three years and one cannot help feel sorry for this bird. It obviously yearns for the company of other birds and I half hope that a female parakeet will eventually turn up. Only half hoping though because if they start breeding here then we are in for a very noisy time.


  1. Great shots of the interaction between the two species.
    By the way, here's the Glamorgan Birds sightings page I mentioned: .
    Nice to meet you today!

    1. Thanks Jeremy for that link. I am familiar with that web site having visited it before but I decided not to bookmark it and and add it to my favourites because I found that it was not "user friendly" for want of a better description. I have difficulty with your blog in that it takes ages to load too???? Dont know whether it is my computer or the fact that you have tons of stuff on your blog? The birding web site that I have bookmarked was called "South Wales Birding" but it is now known as " The Cardiff Bird Club". That blog has tons of stuff on it but I have no problem when I visit it and it loads straight away. Also, I am able to navigate around it without problems so I dont know what it is about your blog? You mentioned Jeff Slocombe on Glamorgan Birds and he does post on the Cardiff Bird Blog also.

  2. Hi Stifyn, Sorry about my blog being slow-loading. Could be you've got a slow connection, or maybe I need to remove some of the bumph. It's occasionally slow for me, although not really any slower than others'. I just popped in to say I heard the Tawny Owl hooting at 2 p.m. a couple of days back, and actually saw it at 9 this evening. I stood beneath it as it hooted about 30 feet above me in an oak tree in the Ornamental Gardens near where I saw you. Could have had some great shots if I'd had my big lens with me, but had to content myself with a couple of distant pics with a small lens (not good enough to post on my blog). I then saw it fly across the open field towards Brynmill Park, where it continued hooting.

    1. NO Jeremy, it is not your blog that is the problem it is my PC. My broadband speed is OK but the performance of my PC has deteriated somewhat recently and I am trying to sort it out.
      I figured you would beat me in getting a photo of that owl. I did hear it again yesterday but coming from a different location but did not go searching for it. Hopefully there are a pair and they become residents? Really nice shots of that fox by the way. Very good light so must have been taken on the only sunny day we have had in about the last month !