Parakeets' tale | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 07, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 07, 2018

Parakeets' tale

The front porch of an old Zamindar house in Demajzni Bazar area of Bogra's Shajahanpur upazila boasts of being home to a centuries-old Mahogany tree. That Mahogany tree, for years, has been housing the ever popular rose-ringed parakeet.

A common bird, the rose-ringed parakeet, scientifically known as Psittacula Kramer, can be found across the southern part of the Indian subcontinent and throughout the South Asian countries as well as some African nations.

Atikur Rahman Atik, a local of the Demazani Bazar area, said, “I have been watching the parakeets on this tree since I was young. However, the numbers seem to be decreasing day by day over the last few years.”

Locals said that over the past six years, the number of birds in the area has been plummeting at an alarming rate due to many reasons, including trapping and ill-treatment.

SM Iqbal, a local bird expert currently working as associate professor of the zoology department in Tangail's Govt. MM Ali College, said the rose-ringed parakeet is one of the few parrot species that have successfully adapted to living in “disturbed habitats”.

 They feed on cereal grains, buds, fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, and seeds, especially of the sunflower, he said, adding that the bird has become a popular house pet due to its unique ability to impersonate the human voice.

“Even though it's a common bird, its numbers have been decreasing rapidly, in the last decade or so, mostly in urban areas. Loss of habitats caused by deforestation, trapping and hunting are the primary causes for this.”

Pradip Mahant, another local, said, “More than 100 pairs of the rose-ringed parakeet used to live in this old Mahogany tree alone, but now there is a maximum of 10 pairs left. Both the tree and the parakeets taking shelter in it stand as a memory of the Zamindar regime during the British period. Proper measures should be taken by the government to preserve them.”  

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