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Have you ever spotted the hundreds of green parrots flying through the city at dusk and wondered where they actually came from? I know I certainly have.

During my mother’s recent visit to Düsseldorf, she became absolutely fascinated by these green little fellas and she decided to follow them through the parks around dusk each week and figure out what they’re doing and where they were going. Like many other interesting mysteries in Düsseldorf, this sparked my curiosity and I decided to dig in and get some more information so I could share it with you!


These little green fellas are Rose-ringed parakeets

They’re also well known as the ring-necked parakeet, or in Düsseldorf, as the “green parrots”. One thing that I always questioned was, why Düsseldorf? Apparently, these parrots have been known to be one of the few types of parrots who have trained themselves to properly adapt to “disturbed habitats” i.e. a constantly evolving urban city like Düsseldorf.


How did they end up in Germany? 

I often hear many people say that someone brought their pet parrots to Germany and let them free, more specifically, what most articles online say is that these birds came from India and were taken to Germany. At some point, these birds escaped and officially settled down in the parks of Düsseldorf in the ’80s.

If you’ve heard any other stories about how these parrots actually arrived, please share in the comments below! 


How many parrots are actually in Germany? 

In 2015, a survey was conducted to count the population of the Rose-ringed parakeets around Europe. It turns out that while Germany certainly has quite a number of green parrots (approximately 11,000), the United Kingdom out numbers Germany with a whopping total of over 31,000 green parrots flocking through the city parks and gardens.

In Germany particularly, the green parrots are often found around the Rhine River and not just in Düsseldorf, but other cities like Cologne, Wiesbaden, Mainz and Bonn too. In Düsseldorf, there are now thousands of parrots flying around the city. Over the last few years, the population has more than doubled in size and while they were once a fascination for many, they are a nuisance for many business owners along the Königs Allee, where many of them gladly call home each night near the Hofgarten.

Recently, I’ve also spotted them in Florapark and Schwanenspiegel. Have you spotted them in other parks around Düsseldorf?


What do they eat in Düsseldorf?

In Düsseldorf, you’ll notice that the parakeets sit high up in the treetops of the parks and feed on the red little berries that are scattered throughout our city. They can also feed on tree buds, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Please, don’t try and feed the birds bread.


How do they survive?

Surprisingly, Düsseldorf is a great environment for the Rose-ringed Parakeets. The urban city offers a safe environment for the birds where there are very little (often none) predators for the birds to flee from. There is also an abundance of tree buds and berries to feed off of while they’re here.

While I never understood how they could survive the colder winter temperatures in Düsseldorf, it has been said that these birds once needed to adapt to the freezing temperatures in the hills of the Himalayas, so surviving a Düsseldorf winter is a breeze.


Where can you find them?

You’ll definitely spot a few in the Hofgarten (if not, all over the city)! Just head to a park around the city and look up in the trees. You might be surprised where you’ll find them nowadays.

Want to learn some more about the stories of Düsseldorf?! We have plenty more where that came from!

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