Orange-winged Amazon parrots nestle in church clock tower
Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 11:39
City Parrots in Amazona amazonica - Orange-winged Amazon, Urban parrots

THESE parrots should be more used to the tropical climates of South America than East Yorkshire.

But the winter freeze across the region appears to be doing them no harm.

An orange-winged Amazon parrot nestling in St Mary Church in Cottingham. Picture: William Braquemard.

The Orange-winged Amazons – more often seen in Colombia than Cottingham – set up home in the East Riding village some years ago.

Now, an amateur photographer who took these pictures days ago, has confirmed the pair are alive and well, despite the plummeting temperatures.

It is thought this Christmas will be their third spent nestling in the clock tower wall of St Mary the Virgin Church.

William Braquemard, 55, of Cottingham, who took the snaps, said: “The birds have been spotted in the village for a number of years.

"In my time taking photographs I've never come across anything like them.

"They make quite a high-pitched noise and you certainly can't mistake them.

"The recent bitterly cold weather does not seem to have done them any harm and they seem quite settled into the church."

Bird-lovers can rest assured there are no plans to remove the feathery friends.

Father Paul Smith, vicar of the church said: "We've had people write in to complain about the noise.

"On the other hand, we've had letters calling for the birds to be saved when rumours have gone round that they will be shot.

"But they're doing no harm and they seem quite settled."

However, they have not always been so well-behaved.

In 2008, the birds were the prime suspects in the disappearance of gold leaf from the church's clock.

Father Smith said: "There is still some gold left on the clock, thankfully.

"The only trouble we get from them is when the clock strikes. It sends them into a squawking frenzy.

"But they are part of the church now."

The Hull and East Riding branch of the Parrot Society said the birds could be escaped pets or breeding birds.

A spokesperson said: "I would be worried about them in this cold weather.

"Really, they would be better in captivity, but they have survived this long and it seems a shame to capture them when they're used to being free.

"They've obviously found shelter, but really they need the right food to keep warm.

"Perhaps they are feeding from a bird table. They can eat almost any fruit, sunflower seeds, peanuts, wholemeal bread and even ham and cheese."

This type of parrot can live for up to 50 years – so these birds may be a familiar sight in the village for a while to come.

Article originally appeared on (
See website for complete article licensing information.