Legend has it that Jimi Hendrix released
a mating pair, an Adam and Eve, from the balcony
of his Carnaby Street apartment in the ’60s.
Others claim they flew the coop in ’51, jettisoned
from Isleworth Studios upon completion
of the English scenes of equatorial peril
in The African Queen. Regardless of what one
believes, there are presently more than thirty
thousand ring-necked parakeets in London
and environs. On Primrose Hill, in Kensington
Gardens, neon-green denizens are infiltrating
trees. They’re picking new grass in suburban
pockets; infringing, like weeds between paving;
and punctuating the quiet good taste of grey
with their raucous squeaks and loud livery. Parakeets
are a splurge on polite society, upsetting
delicate breeds at the feeder and threatening
native species. Consequently, the British Government
has decreed the feral parrot a pest, and placing it
on a shortlist, agrees that the birds can be shot.
This appeared in the December 2016 issue.