Photo of the week: Tropical storm

Summary

Native to much warmer climates, the rose-ringed parakeet is still thriving in Brussels and Flemish Brabant

Stark contrasts

This wild parakeet’s vibrant colour stands out even more in the frosty white winter that swept across Flanders this week. The little bird makes its home in Dilbeek, along with thousands of other feral parakeets that can be found flying around Brussels and the Flemish periphery.

The story about how the rose-ringed parakeet, native to Africa and Asia, got a foothold in the area differs from person to person, with some claiming an animal park shut down, setting the birds free, while others blame an expat couple, who allegedly released their flock when they departed the country. In any case, the birds are still thriving at least four decades later.

The snow, meanwhile, which reached five centimetres on Wednesday but quickly melted and dusted the region again last night, will not be making an immediate return. Outside of some snow mixed with rain in Limburg, we’ll be free of the stuff all weekend.

Next Monday could see some mixed rain and snow across Flanders, but temperatures are expected to rise as the week goes on, reaching 9°C by Wednesday. It won’t be dry, though, keep that umbrella close to hand.

Photo: Ilse Ketele/BELGA