23 comments on “Betteridge’s Law

  1. Harleyford golf course just outside Marlow had a pandemonium of parakeets. Noisy buggers, but I wasn’t aware of them doing any damage.

  2. A metaphor for the UK’s changing demographic, or a threat to native trees and birds? “According to Dr Leech, our parakeets are following a typical trajectory of any invasive species: from a slow start to exponential growth before spreading out.”

  3. I didn’t read the article because of the paywall (the Telegraph would be expensive at 2p per annum). If it doesn’t discuss their Origin Myth some speculation is here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_parakeets_in_Great_Britain

    The first I saw (or heard, rather) were in Windsor Great Park in 2005 and I remember thinking ‘WTF?’ or similar.

    After one has downed a few G&Ts their squawking sounds remarkably like ‘Allahu Akhbar!’ Exponential growth indeed; our avifauna will never be the same again.

  4. There has been a flock in brussels for over 20 years – stable numbers, not exponential growth (there’s also a settled population of chipmunks in the Foret de Soignes – cute, and not threatening to anyone or anything). There are a few parakeets in Epping forest – noisy buggers, but not otherwise a threat. yes, Betteridge’s law.

  5. Why is it that invasive species of birds, coypus or various plants are to be deprecated, whereas..

  6. One parakeet showed up year before last. Then last year, a small flock of 5. Yesterday morning, 16 flew over the garden.

    I had no cherries last year, won’t have any this year either. They are pretty, but alien flying vermin.

  7. JuliaM – I net my cherry trees not on account of parakeets but against every other type of bird – corvids, blackbirds mainly – and squirrels which I try and trap.

    For years I didn’t need to net loganberries because the fruit is quite tart but local birdlife has decided that they aren’t so bad after all and cleaned me out so more nets next year.

  8. I need a famous TV chef to promote some way of cooking seagull and make it palatable. Damn vermin.

  9. Thos. F. – I’m indebted to you although I shall probably continue to nail their vile carcases to posts so as to discourage their kin.

  10. There has been a flock in brussels for over 20 years

    I didn’t know that, never came across them on my trips there. But I’ve seen them in Düsseldorf and Rome. They seem to spread along the banks of large rivers and are working their way up the Thames (currently up to about Sonning). A couple appeared in the garden a few years back, but (thankfully) never returned.

  11. @TMB

    If you nail up a dead rook in a crucifixion pose all the others shog off permanently. Freaks them out. I was plagued by a mini-rookery (a satellite of the main one in the village) 50 yards from my bedroom window: the bastards kept waking me up at first light. Found the crucifixion thing online – it hails from NZ – and shot one rook to try it out. Worked like a bloody charm; they never came back. Might work with squirrels too. In fact if you have 3 dead ones you could establish a regular Golgotha in your grounds. A squirrel’s IQ is probably more or less equal to a rook’s and with luck they’re just as quick on the uptake.

  12. Are parakeets, like so many flying vermin, hated but illegal to kill them?

    RSPCA regularly prosecute those who kill grey squirrels

    Another stupid one is killing some things is legal only if you have a license; some not allowed to sell or give or eat.

    Regulatory over-reach.

  13. Thos. F if you have 3 dead ones you could establish a regular Golgotha in your grounds

    Alternatively that could perhaps work as an Easter installation outside St Pauls.

  14. RSPCA regularly prosecute those who kill grey squirrels

    Only if they’re not killed humanely (the most publicised case was about drowning). If you live trap grey squirrels (or any other non-native animal, e.g. mink) it’s illegal to release them, they must be killed (humanely). The best solution is to use an approved humane lethal trap.

    Here in the Chilterns, we suffer from Glis glis (edible dormice) coming into the roof space (where they can play havoc with wiring) to hibernate. They used to be both a protected species and also a pest, which meant that (legally) you needed to use a licensed exterminator to despatch them. But you can now download a licence from the DoE website, so that’s a bit of progress.

  15. When I trap a gray squirrel in my attic, I leave it. For months. Best thing by far I have found to keep the squirrels away.

    The stench downstairs only lasts a few days. Knowing I’m going to leave it, I place the trap above an area I don’t usually go, so the smell doesn’t bother me. I do check the area for the smell to see if I caught one.

    Be careful what you say about a squirrel’s IQ. I got into a war with them nearly a decade ago. I thought, “This will be easy.” Genius me against tree rats.

    I am currently ahead, but there will be no winning.

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