Friday, July 27, 2012

I can hear them, but all I can see are small leaves raining down where they should be perched up in the trees.

But the fully leafed out trees make it difficult to see this chameleon-like bird.

I'm talking about the flock of green parakeets that call Istanbul home.
Bottom right corner, you can see the green parakeet up in the tree.
This week, I've been walking my friend's dog every morning through Emirgan Korusu (Emirgan Park). And every morning, I've been able to catch a glimpse of these green parakeets. 

When I do see them, I also feel like I'm in that old M&M Christmas commercial, where Santa Claus runs into the walking pair of M&M's and says "They do exist." 
Here, you can see an outline of the parakeet in the middle of the photo.
Earlier this year in my 8 hours in Istanbul post, I mentioned I've only seen these elusive green parakeets one other time near the Topkapı Sarayı (Topkapi Palace).

The story goes, according to several long-time expats, that the green parakeets were on a cargo ship in the Bosphorus several years ago. The birds escaped, adapted to the climate and now there are a couple hundred living here. 
Well, I was kind of able to capture one of the parakeets in flight. They are fast!
I've never seen them near Beşiktaş where we live, probably because its a densely populated area with few green spaces.

However, this week, I've been enjoying watching these green parakeets flit about in the trees and hearing them call to each other. I tried to capture a few photos during my walks in Emirgan, but you really need a telephoto lens for best results.

Have you seen these green parakeets in Istanbul or perhaps elsewhere in Turkey?

As I was leaving Emirgan Park this morning, I noticed these wild raspberry bushes and treated myself to a ripened berry.

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jaz@octoberfarm said...

how cool!

Alan said...

. . there were great flocks of these spreading along the North Kent coast when I lived in the UK. Amazingly adaptable creatures.

Joy said...

@Joyce, yes it is! ;-)

@Alan, interesting! I wonder where they originated from then. From Turkey to the UK? Hitchhiking birds? ;-)

Cuisine de Provence said...

Joy, I think the berries are blackberries, don't you?

BacktoBodrum said...

I've never seen the parakeets in either Istanbul or Kent, but I'll keep my eyes open next time.

Jason said...

The third picture looks a bit ominous. I'm wondering if Joy caught the prince of darkness in a parakeet form.

Ozlem's Turkish Table said...

Hi Joy, I remember spotting a few in Yildiz Park; worth a try? Wished we had more green parks especially in Istanbul.
So look forward to seeing you in Istanbul soon!:) x Ozlem

Joy said...

@Barbara, The berries probably are blackberries, but they didn't quite taste like it either. I'll keep sampling them as they ripen here. :-)

@Jason, ha ha! You've seen the parakeets too now.

@Ozlem, I actually haven't set foot in Yildiz Park yet, so I should do that. Looking forward to meeting you as well!

Melinda said...

Hi Joy,

It's Melinda from the PAWI group. Funny enough, I didn't realize this was your blog; I read it on Google reader, so I never see your profile picture.

Anyway, to the birds. I've seen a green parakeet once, in our neighborhood, 4.Levent. I didn't realize there was a flock of them -- we thought it was someone's pet that had escaped. :)

Joy said...

Hi Melinda, Thanks for reading! Yep, I bake and I blog. Since we've been hanging out at Emirgan Park this past week, we've noticed hordes of these green parakeets. And you can always hear them squawking away before you see them. ;-)

Mary B said...

San Francisco has a similar flock of parakeets. Boy, are they noisy? We encountered them twice this past weekend.

Joy said...

@Mary, Interesting! I understand there are several groups/flocks of these parakeets around the world! Hopefully, they aren't harmful at least. :-)

Liisa S said...

I just came back from few days in Istanbul, an I saw these parakeets too. As I'm a kind of birder (well, the Sunday type...), I had my binos with me and so I managed to identify many of the ones I saw as Alexandrine Parakeets, Psittacula eupatria and googling for "wild parrot istambul" confirms that. I saw them mainly near Topkapi.

Joy said...

@Liisa, Thanks for your helpful information and for posting on one of my older blog posts! ;-) I've seen the green parakeets by Topkapi too. It's interesting bc the Sultans used to have all sorts of exotic animals and birds at the palace. Hope you had a fantastic trip in Istanbul!