Parakeets: an antidote to eco anxiety

Sarah with parakeetOn Saturday I got to meet a parakeet face to face for the first time. The close encounter happened at the launch of The Parakeeting of London: An Adventure in Gonzo Ornithology, an engaging book about London’s parakeets.

At the launch, which was as fun and informal as the book itself, we tempted parakeets from the trees with apples and nuts, and author Nick Hunt and photographer Tim Mitchell told us how by simply asking Londoners for their views on parakeets and holding microphones under their noses, they had unleashed a fascinating mix of myth, misinformation and observation. Nick described these exotic birds, originally from Africa and Asia but now at home here, as “flying metaphors”, repositories for people’s hopes, fears and prejudices, vehicles for everything from anti-immigrant hostility to multicultural celebration to eco-anxiety (via some fanciful stories about pop stars).

Continue reading