Commonly referred to as ring-necked parakeets; brightly coloured Psittacula, and Alexandrine parakeets, this bird flies over Turkey’s different regions each year, with their population on a rise.

These outgoing and independent Afro-Asian parakeets adorn trees in parks and recreational areas mainly in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, yet it is possible to see them in more than 20 cities around Turkey. Two researchers from the 19 Mayis University in the northern Samsun province and Gazi University in Ankara have rolled up their sleeves to identify this tropical bird population and their whereabouts.

Through their website, the researchers share photos of Psittacula and the Alexandrine parakeets, offering a visual feast.Kiraz Erciyes Yavuz from 19 Mayis University and Esra Per from Gazi University are working together to identify their population and calling everyone to inform them when they spot any parakeets outside. “We are mainly studying their behaviour, nutrition and how they influence the environment. Anyone can help our project. We will publish their photos on the website,” the researchers said.

Although Turkey is not a native homeland for these exotic bird species, how they came to Turkey is still a matter of interest. They are foreigners to the region but have adapted themselves to the climate thanks to their resistance to cold. Psittacula and the Alexandrine parakeets are also seen in European countries but mainly originate from an area ranging from Africa to Southeast Asia and the islands of the Indian Ocean. These elegant birds mainly live in forests as well as open woodlands.

Researchers say that these parakeets began to populate Turkey after they were first brought to Istanbul by animal sellers in 1997. Around 200 parakeets are said to have escaped from their cages at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport.

It is possible to spot them during a walk along Gulhane Park in Sultanahmet or Yildiz Park in Besiktaş. Ankara’s Altinpark and Izmir’s fair area are the two other places where they fly over the sky, colouring the branches.



Source:  Daily Sabah

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