• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Parakeets v. Gulls in Rome (1 Viewer)

BirdsinRome

New member
Hello! I have a rather specific question, but am hopeful that one of the experts here can either answer it definitively or point me in the right direction.

I live in the historic center of Rome, Italy. I work from home, and love nothing more than watching the birds out my window. The real treasure in Rome is its two species of green parrot: the rose-ringed parakeet and the monk parakeet. Seeing either of these two birds will make your day, and there are quite a few around the city.

My question is this: I'd like to put out food to attract these birds specifically. The long-shot here is the bane of Rome's existence (right after the Visigoths): the Yellow-Legged Gull. These monstrosities shred the garbage bags here to pieces and, since tourism has declined with the quarantine, have even taken to hunting pigeons and rats for food. Ergo, I can't even begin to imagine any source of edible anything that the seagulls wouldn't devour long before it was found by a parakeet.

I know it's a long-shot, but does anyone have any suggestions? Thank you in advance!
 

SteveClifton

Well-known member
Hello! I have a rather specific question, but am hopeful that one of the experts here can either answer it definitively or point me in the right direction.

I live in the historic center of Rome, Italy. I work from home, and love nothing more than watching the birds out my window. The real treasure in Rome is its two species of green parrot: the rose-ringed parakeet and the monk parakeet. Seeing either of these two birds will make your day, and there are quite a few around the city.

My question is this: I'd like to put out food to attract these birds specifically. The long-shot here is the bane of Rome's existence (right after the Visigoths): the Yellow-Legged Gull. These monstrosities shred the garbage bags here to pieces and, since tourism has declined with the quarantine, have even taken to hunting pigeons and rats for food. Ergo, I can't even begin to imagine any source of edible anything that the seagulls wouldn't devour long before it was found by a parakeet.

I know it's a long-shot, but does anyone have any suggestions? Thank you in advance!

Just a reminder that BF is a site dedicated to wild birds in all their forms, even if some of them might appear as 'monstrosities' to some. Gulls often get a bad reputation, and recently here in the UK negative reporting by some of the press/media has led to a number of cases of people deliberately killing them (e.g kicking them or even attempting to run them over in cars), and local authorities often need little encouragement to 'move them on' in a variety of ways (destroying nests etc).

It's worth remembering that gulls are opportunists and that is one of the major reasons for their success. They are found in towns and cities largely due to the easy food sources on offer, provided by humans, and often made all the more easy because of human carelessness (rubbish bags left out in the streets, for example). This is a learned behaviour that they've picked up over time. How would you expect a gull to differentiate between food left out for one group of species from general rubbish thrown on the streets?

There are no native species of parrot in Europe, so preferentially feeding them in your garden without expecting other opportunistic native species to take advantage is perhaps unrealistic?

It's also the case in many parts of Europe (certainly here in parts of the UK) that Ring-necked Parakeets have reached pest proportions, and hence encouraging them with food sources is unwise and not to be encouraged. They out-compete a number of native European species in their own environment, to the extent that discussions are ongoing about how to control or eradicate them.

Meanwhile, the populations of a number of European gull species are in decline. Food for thought...

One last thought, re the local gulls eating rats and pigeons. Only yesterday I saw a video on social media of a Yellow-legged Gull eating a large rat on the streets of a European city-it could even have been Rome? Neither rats or feral pigeons (descended from wild Rock Doves) would be considered native in many parts of Europe-certainly not in any cities. They are also there because of the easy food provided for them by humans, and for that reason both are often considered as pests in many areas. Feeding pigeons in many British cities can result in a hefty fine, so the local gulls feeding on them might actually be doing you a favour!
 
Last edited:
Warning! This thread is more than 2 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread

Top