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The Parakeeting of London: An Adventure in Gonzo Ornithology

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The skies of London have been taken over by bright green parakeets.
Where did they come from? Why are they here?

In The Parakeeting of London, writer Nick Hunt and photographer Tim Mitchell – self-declared gonzo ornithologists – track the progress of the parakeets from park to cemetery to riverbank, meeting Londoners from all walks of life who share their thoughts, opinions
Paperback, 112 pages
Published March 22nd 2019 by Paradise Road
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(3.5) Rose-ringed parakeets were first recorded in London in the 1890s, but only in the last couple of decades have they started to seem ubiquitous. I remember seeing them clustered in treetops and flying overhead in various Surrey, Kent and Berkshire suburbs we’ve lived in. They’re even more noticeable in London’s parks and cemeteries. “When did they become as established as beards and artisan coffee?” Nick Hunt wonders about his home in Hackney. He and photographer Tim Mitchell set out to canv ...more
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
If you live in or have visited London, you’ve probably seen or heard its parakeets. Originally from the Himalayan foothills of south Asia or the steaming equatorial jungles of central Africa, rose-ringed parakeets, Psittacula krameri, also known as ring-necked parakeets, are now resident in the greater London area, roosting in huge flocks that have spilled over into much of southeastern England, where they are now widely established.

How these lime-green parrots managed to get to London has, of c
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I live in parakeet central, and run in Richmond Park from time to time, so I jumped at this when I saw it in an indy bookshop in Kew and it's OK, but feels a bit thrown-together, like it would have been better if a bit more effort had gone into it. The most interesting thing was the parallel between people's attitude to invasive species and towards immigrant humans, but it doesn't really get off the ground. There's also a hint at a secret network but it's just a tantalising glimpse with no real ...more
Joanne  Clarke Gunter
Until reading this book, I was unaware of all the rose-ringed parakeets in London and surrounding areas (thousands), but this book is hardly more than a magazine article and the authors do not shed any light on how the parakeets got there since they are indigenous to Asia and Africa. It may be that no one really knows, although anecdotes abound. The pictures aren't very good either. Just an okay read for me. ...more
Bloss ♡
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2020

This was a bit scattered, disorganized, and unscientific for me. Some of the interviews were embarrassing - so many people confidently incorrect. I feel like if they’d left the interviews out, this would have made a really great essay or Time Out feature.

I do love the Keets though so it was worth spending 40 minutes perusing this.
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A joyous celebration of how residents and visitors to London view the green ring-necked parakeets, who although not native to their environment, have managed to successfully colonize the habitat. Although the book has limited information on the natural history of the birds, it is filled with legends and lore about how the birds arrived on England’s shores and managed to make it their home.
Lindsay Levkoff
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a quirky, fun book about a bizarre London phenomenon. Thank you!!!
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Extremely pleasant read. A real page turner.
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Slight, scattered, and not especially thought-through. Would’ve made a charming enough magazine essay.
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Nick Hunt has walked and written across much of Europe. His first book 'Walking the Woods and the Water' (Nicholas Brealey, 2014) was a finalist for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year. He also works as a contributor and editor for the Dark Mountain Project. ...more

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