Parakeets taking over the skies
Spectacular rise in the number of ring-necked parakeets in the skies above the capital.
There has been a spectacular rise in the number of ring-necked parakeets in the skies above the capital. Last year more than 8,000 of the exotic Neumann's ring-necked birds were spotted in and around Brussels.
The parakeets are all the descendents of just forty birds that were released into the wild when the Melipark amusement park in the northwest of the city closed in 1974.
There was only a modest increase in their numbers during the rest of the 1970 and the 1980's.
However, there was a dramatic increase in the ring-necked parakeet population during the 1990's.
Jan Paenhuysen of the conservation association Natuurpunt Brussel told the VRT that the capital is the perfect environment for the birds.
There is plenty of food in the city's parks and the trees offer the birds plenty of nuts, seeds and other goodies.
The lack of a natural predator also means that the parakeet population is able to carry on increasing almost unhindered.