Stoke Bruerne gets ex­otic vis­i­tors

Canal Boat - - News -

VIS­I­TORS TO THE CANAL MU­SEUM at Stoke Bruerne are in for a feath­ery treat after a flock of bright green para­keets was spot­ted in the gar­den in search of fruit.

The wild birds, which like to feast on fruit from the mu­seum’s crab ap­ple tree, can be seen at var­i­ous times through­out the day.

Orig­i­nally from warmer cli­mates, the birds are thought to be the de­scen­dants of es­caped birds. The­o­ries of how the birds got here in­clude a pair of birds de­lib­er­ately re­leased by the rock star Jimi Hen­drix in the 1960s, es­capees from the set of African Queen in the 1950s, or that they es­caped from an aviary dur­ing the 1987 hur­ri­cane.

Louise Stock­win, duty man­ager at the mu­seum, said: “The birds have been com­ing here for a num­ber of months and of­ten you hear their loud squawk­ing be­fore you see them in the trees. Be­ing bright green, they are much eas­ier to see in the early part of the year but dur­ing the sum­mer they are re­ally well cam­ou­flaged in the trees so can be a bit tricky to see.

“The birds seem to re­ally like the crab ap­ples de­spite their sour taste and they also like to nib­ble on the seed we put on the bird feeder. The birds add a splash of colour to the gar­den and we love see­ing them come and visit.”

A good time for bird spot­ters to see the birds is early morn­ing when they come to the gar­den for a break­fast treat. The mu­seum has worked with lo­cal school chil­dren to cre­ate a wild gar­den to en­cour­age beast­ies and birds to visit the area.

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