Wrecker parakeets are driving up energy costs, says housing corporation
Ring neck parakeets are making holes and destroying insulation in walls to make nests, causing even higher energy bills for tenants, Ymere housing corporation has said.
The birds are using their bills as a hacksaw, creating openings ‘as big as a fist’, Ymere spokesman Roel Collewijn said.
‘It’s happening more often and the damage per hole runs into hundreds of euros. We don’t really have ways of preventing this and our tenants lose out, particularly now that energy prices are high,’ he said.
Ring neck parakeets have been proliferating in the Netherlands where the population, at the last count, numbers some 21,000 birds, a seven-fold increase in seven years.
The bird, which originates in central Africa and India, is classified as an ‘exotic invader’ which, researchers say, competes for nesting space with other birds which live in hollow trees.
In addition, they have been known to plunder orchards and eat the fruit. Attracted to bird feeders in urban gardens, they are particularly fond of raw peanuts.
Collewijn said he doesn’t care what measures are taken to control the birds as long as they leave Ymere’s housing stock alone.
The corporation is currently looking into using parakeet proof material but have found that there is not much a parakeet cannot destroy. ‘Those bills are a combination of crowbar, drill and tin snips. They are even taking on stone and aluminium,’ he said.
Ymere is renovating and insulating some 1,600 houses a year, Collewijn said. ‘You don’t want parakeets demolishing all that and causing expensive repairs,’ he said.
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