News

Police found the woman only had a provisional license and was accompanied only by a parrot

Competition result: The peacock and the mouse come out on top

One is a beautiful and vain peacock; the other, a dirty field mouse. Together this unusual pairing has won first prize in our Brian Wildsmith competition: a limited edition print worth £650 of the best-selling illustrator's own unlikely duo, the parrot and jaguar who feature in his book Jungle Party.

Out of their tree: virus blamed as drunken parrots fall from sky

The staggering gait, the mood swings and the headaches will be familiar to anyone who has indulged in a big night out. But in Australia's northernmost city it is not the people who are behaving like drunks, but the native parrots, which are falling out of the sky.

Nevin's notes: 03/05/2010

An alternative take on the election

Album: Offenbach, Vert-Vert / Spence etc (Opera Rara)

Inspired by a satirical poem on a convent parrot corrupted by foul language, Vert-Vert was accused of indecency at its London premiere.

Pay up or the parrot gets it, says bank

It sounds like the basis for a Monty Python sketch, rather than a $50,000 lawsuit. A woman from Pennsylvania is suing Bank of America, after a contractor wrongly repossessed her home and impounded her beloved pet parrot.

Parrot and Olivier in America, By Peter Carey

A young French aristocrat escapes to America, only to risk all by falling in love with a nascent democracy

Vicar's blessing for mobile phones

Mobile phone chopper: iPhone gadget released

A company that makes accessories for cell phones wants to add something else to the endless list of things you can do with an iPhone: flying a toy helicopter.

Album: Danny & the Champions of the World, Streets of Our Time (Loose)

Anyone remember Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance? This lot don't sound exactly like that but they do aspire to the same things, which is to reimagine rock as a footloose folk music big on soul, complete with poachers, swans, parakeets and bluebirds.

Terence Blacker: Time for TV to cut down on the Yule factor

Imagine, for a moment, a Christmas TV special produced by someone who has courageously decided to break with tradition. Jeremy Paxman is in the chair and among the guests gathered for yuletide are Sir Mick Jagger, Tracey Emin, Andy Murray, Russell Brand and Lord Mandelson. A Christmas message, sent by satellite from Barbados, is contributed by Simon Cowell.

Sarah Sands: Parakeets have turned Richmond into Rio

During a birdwatching lull, after each of us had borrowed the best-looking tripod for a closer look at some marsh herons, the subject turned to the explosive issue of the ruddy duck. Being among friends, some of the company confessed that they were shooting the ducks on the quiet. Although they were introduced into this country during the 1950s, the ruddy ducks never really assimilated. They just bred and bred and made themselves a nuisance. No one used the expression "River Tiber foaming with much blood" but the tension in the twitching community was evident.

Feather report: Nature and nurture in New Zealand

A rare flightless parrot, ancient reptiles and some of the world's largest trees are among the natural wonders to be found in New Zealand’s spectacular landscapes

Leading article: Parrot fashion

Never mind the vaunted corncrake, in parts of England only one bird rules the roost: the ring-necked parakeet. No one knows for sure how these tropical birds ended up living wild on our shores. But however it came about, their exotic squawk has become a familiar sound in the suburbs of south London.

Britain's naturalised parrot now officially a pest

Britain’s naturalised parrot is now officially a pest. Forty years after it first bred on the outskirts of London, the ring-necked parakeet today joined gulls, crows and magpies on the short list of birds which can be legally shot without special permission.

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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

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Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick