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  British birds face parrot threat
Updated 25 June 2004, 16.18


A growing flock of parrots could pose a threat to native British birds.

Experts say the number of wild parrots in Britain has reached 20,000 as many have been released by their owners. That could reach 100,000 by 2010.

Ring-necked parakeets cause a lot of trouble, as experts say their numbers are rising by 30% yearly, challenging local owls, starlings and kestrels.

This is partly because they nest before British birds, taking the best nesting sites, and have more chicks.

Ring-necked parakeets are the most wide-spread of any parrot species, and live wild in 35 countries.

They are also very intelligent, and can learn up to 250 words.

But if they do get out of hand, the ancient Romans had a solution - they used to eat the feathered squawkers!

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