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Report your sightings of exotic Alexandrine parakeets

Friday 06 May 2022 | 2 min read

Efforts continue to locate Alexandrine parakeets on the loose in SA. This follows Green Adelaide’s call for public sightings in late September and December that uncovered these elusive parakeets in Adelaide.

Alexandrine parakeets are native to South Asia but make popular pet birds in South Australia. If not properly contained, these birds can pose a threat to native species.

An Alexandrine parakeet in flight, Photo: Sam Gordon

Threat to native species and SA's agricultural industry

Green Adelaide ecologist Jason van Weenen said that though they are beautiful big green parrots, they do pose a serious threat to our native bird populations, and our state’s agricultural industry.

“It’s important that we find and capture these parakeets before the breeding season starts in June to prevent them from establishing in our environment,” Mr van Weenen said.

"These birds are known for taking over tree hollows from our native birds.

“They also feed on valuable fruit and seed crops causing costly damage to our agricultural industry.

“Alexandrine parakeets are about the size of a galah with a distinctive long tail and red beak. Their feathers are usually green, but occasionally they can come in blue and yellow."

Previous wild sightings in Adelaide

Mr van Weenen said that after the first round of sightings were reported by the public, a specialised team attended sites in Morphett Vale where a group of 3 male Alexandrine parakeets were living in the wild.

“It was thanks to the keen eyes of the community that we could find these birds,” he said.

“They were exhibiting some breeding behaviours, so we used a cherry picker to check tree hollows being used by the parakeets, however fortunately we only found native rainbow lorikeets and ring-tail possums living in them.

“Reports of sightings have helped us understand that there are numerous Alexandrine parakeets on the loose in the southern suburbs of Adelaide, and also a few in the northern suburbs.

“Thanks to the help of some keen residents, attempts are being made to catch these escapee Alexandrine parakeets for rehoming. Efforts to date have not been successful due to the transient nature of the birds.

“We again encourage everyone in Adelaide to report their sightings to the National Pest Alert Hotline to help us locate them in the wild. It is critical to find out where the birds are in the lead up to their early breeding season.”

A wild juvenile Alexandrine parakeet taken in the southern suburbs. Note the distinctive red beak. Photo: Sam Gordon

Report your parakeet sightings

You can report sightings of Alexandrine parakeets to the National Pest Alert Hotline on 1800 084 881.

Report the sighting date, location, and the number of birds spotted. If you get a chance to take a photo, that’s even better!

When a sighting is reported to the National Pest Alert Hotline, Green Adelaide works with bird experts and project partners to try and find them again, and return them to captivity.

Learn more about our initial call for sightings back in September 2021.

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