The unheard cry of the parakeet 
Monday, January 5, 2015 at 12:19
City Parrots in Psittacula krameri - Ring-necked Parakeet, Rescue, Wild bird trade

Researchers say parakeets are easily available in many places in the city despite their sale being illegalTheir loud and relentless screeching is a sure-shot way of identifying a pet shop from quite a distance away. As you enter, the first thing you notice is their frantic and futile attempts to escape their cramped cages.

Rose-ringed parakeets are sold in many pet shops in the city thought it is illegal to do so. These beautiful green birds are caught, their wings are clipped and they are sold to be reared as pets.

Wildlife trade researchers say that adult parakeets are easily available in the city. While some of them are caught in the wild, quite a few are bred in captivity. A researcher said parakeets are caught using two methods. Either grains are spread on a net to trap them or the services of coconut tree climbers are used to catch the birds that live in holes in dried coconut trees. The birds are mostly caught at night.  

Pallavaram shandy, Moore market and Kozhi Kadai are some of the areas where these birds are sold. The day of sale varies from place to place. In Pallavaram, the birds are sold on Fridays, while in Moore Market and Kozhi Kadai, it is on Sundays.

The parakeet breeding season starts in the middle of January and most of the sellers keep a stock of at least 50 pairs, say researchers. The young ones are sold at between Rs. 300 and Rs. 400 a pair.

The traders clip two feathers from each side — the flight feathers — before handing them over to the buyers. The feathers grow back in three months and are periodically clipped, said researchers.

However, S. David Raj, Range Officer, Wildlife (Headquarters), said pet shops in the city do not sell rose-ringed parakeets, as it is banned. These birds are categorised under Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act. Anyone who comes across the sale of parakeets in pet shops can call: 044-22200335 to register a complaint.

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