When I first moved to Amsterdam, the last thing I expected to see where flocks of rose-ringed parakeets residing in the city’s many parks. The beautiful pink and blue rings around their necks and in their tail feathers make them quite a sight to see. If you hear their high-pitched squawks nearby, go take a closer look. Thanks to their curious nature, they’ll probably check you out as well!
The first official sighting was in 1976 in Vondelpark, the same place where the once pet birds were presumably released or escaped. This park is still their main breeding group and large colonies can easily be spotted there flying around, feasting on nuts, or poking their heads out of the tree holes they like to nest in.
At the last official count in 2010, there were 3,700 wild parakeets in Amsterdam and 10,000 in the Netherlands as a whole. Their population doubled in size since the previous count in 2006. Though in some countries they are seen as a hostile, non-native species, here in Amsterdam we are quite proud of these hardy little green birds and they are by many considered to be ‘local’.
What kinds of unexpected wild animals do you have roaming around your city that visitors find strange, unique or interesting?