The Parakeeting of London

Over the past few decades, something extraordinary has happened in London. The city has experienced the influx of a new species, a mass colonisation of green, garrulous parakeets. The even more extraordinary thing is that nobody knows how they got there.

This book of ‘gonzo ornithology’ tracks the progress of the parakeets from park to riverbank to cemetery, meeting Londoners from all walks of life who share their opinions and theories on these amazing avian invaders. Did Jimi Hendrix release them in 1968? Did they escape from a set during the filming of The African Queen? Are they anything to do with climate change? And, most importantly, are they here to stay?

The Parakeeting of London: An Adventure in Gonzo Ornithology is published by Paradise Road

‘Lovely expression of where conversation and curiosity can lead. There’s a generous curiosity and quality of listening and watching at the heart of it that comes across like the best sort of qualitative social science. I’ve recommended this to people before but is I think, more serious in intent than it appears, and deserves attention.’

Joe Smith, Director of the Royal Geographical Society