Famous noisemakers in the Vondelpark

The ones responsible for all the hubbub in the largest park in Amsterdam are so-called ring-necked parakeets. Almost 4,000 of such birds live in the trees and shrubs. And because they have a good time in the capital (though it is a bit too cold and rainy), there are more every year. The ring-necked parakeets have become famous, or rather notorious, in the city. But they are not originally from here, but from southern Asia and central Africa.

There are many stories going around among Amsterdammers about why these creatures have turned up in the middle of the city. It is said that they belonged to a janitor at a typewriter factory on Overtoom, just down the road. And that he released the birds when the company closed fifty years ago, as a way to remember his company long after it was gone.

Perhaps a little more believable is that the parakeets were bought as pets and disappointed in their disability to talk, unlike parrots, were released over the years.

Parakeets can’t talk, that’s true but that doesn’t mean you can’t hear them. Just listen as you walk through Vondelpark in the early morning or towards the end of the day. Do keep in mind, you’re not allowed to feed the birds, no matter how much noise they make or how cute they look. Also make sure that you clean everything up well when you have rested on a bench or in the grass.

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