From the Riviera to Rivierenbuurt

I have moved from the shores of the Mediterranean to the banks of the Amstel River in Amsterdam. I am now in the land of windmills, canals, clogs, and parakeets.

Parakeets? There are flock of bright green Rose-ringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri) in Amsterdam. They are noisy birds, and the story goes that one owner got so fed up with his pet parakeets that he let them fly off. Since they came from the foothills of the Himalayas, they had no problem surviving and breeding in the Netherlands.

Will the parakeets compete for resources with the local bird populations? Probably not catastrophically. Owls and goshawks now feed on them, keeping their numbers down. But they are probably here to stay.


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