The booming parakeet population in the UK has baffled bird watchers for years – but could legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix hold the answers?
Over the years, many rumours have circulated speculating about how the birds first came to settle here, but one of the most popular theories is that Hendrix is responsible.
Hendrix, born in the US, found fame in London in the swinging sixties where his band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, picked up thousands of loyal fans.
Among his admirers were Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Eric Clapton.
Hendrix tragically died at just 27 years old in 1970 after complications with drug use.
Legend has it that shortly before his death, the famed guitarist released two ring-necked parakeets in London.
The theory suggests the two birds continued to breed and ended up thriving. In time, they migrated all over the UK.
According to the RSPB, ring-necked parakeets have been established in Britain since the 1970s after captive birds either escaped or were released into the wild.
But the organisation claims there’s not enough evidence to confirm Jimi Hendrix caused the parakeet population boom.
Speaking to Coventry Live, Hendrix’s sister Janie said: “It is true that Jimi had quite a mischievous sense of humour and he was, in fact, a free spirit himself, but did he set free a pair of ring-necked parakeets in London?
“If he were alive today, I think he would say, ‘You can’t believe everything you see and hear, can you?'”
Janie added the family has always thought the theory was just a “fable” but she admitted: “My brother was known to do some wild things, so it does make for a funny ‘what if’.
“He did, after all, write a song called Freedom.”