Plum Headed Parakeet
The Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala) is a species of parrot that is native to the Indian subcontinent and nearby areas of Southeast Asia.
- Appearance: The Plum-headed Parakeet is a medium-sized parrot, measuring around 30 centimeters in length. The male has a distinctive pinkish-purple head, while the female has a grey head. Both sexes have green bodies and wings, with blue primary flight feathers and a yellowish-green tail. The beak is pale, and the eyes are dark.
- Habitat: The Plum-headed Parakeet is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and scrubland. They are also commonly found in cultivated areas, such as orchards and gardens, and are known to adapt well to urban areas.
- Behavior: Plum-headed Parakeets are social birds that are usually seen in small flocks or pairs. They are active during the day and are known for their acrobatic flying abilities. They are also vocal, with a range of calls and squawks that they use to communicate with each other.
- Diet: The Plum-headed Parakeet feeds on a variety of seeds, fruits, nuts, and berries. They are known to be particularly fond of figs and pomegranates. They will also feed on agricultural crops, which can sometimes lead to conflicts with farmers.
- Breeding: Breeding season for Plum-headed Parakeets is from February to May in India, and they usually lay between 3 to 5 eggs in a tree cavity. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks after they hatch. The chicks fledge after around 6 weeks and become fully independent several weeks later.
- Conservation status: The Plum-headed Parakeet is classified as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as it is a common and widespread species with a large population. However, they face threats from habitat loss and capture for the pet trade.
Overall, the Plum-headed Parakeet is a beautiful and colorful bird species that is admired by birdwatchers and appreciated for its vocalizations and acrobatic flying abilities.
Scientific Name: Psittacula cyanocephala
Origin: India and Sri Lanka
This species may be housed with some of the larger seedeaters, such as cardinals, and other gentle-natured parrot types, such as the Cockatiel. This species is hardy and remains outside all year round if a frost-proof shelter is provided.
Size: 36 cm (14 in)
Head: rose pink. Throat and neck ring: black. Upper parts: green. Breast: yellowish-green. Shoulder patch: dark red. Wings and tail show some blue and yellow feathers. Beak: orange-red. Legs: grey.
Similar, but her head is blue-grey, her beak yellow and her body does not have the red shoulder patches.
Plain canary seed, mixed millets, sunflower seed, peanuts, and a little hemp form the basic diet. This bird enjoys apples and plenty of green food. Grit and cuttlefish hone must always be provided.
The Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala) typically breeds during the months of February to May in India, which is the main breeding range of this species. They usually form monogamous pairs during the breeding season and are known to be cavity nesters, which means they nest in holes in trees, typically in woodlands or forested areas.
The female Plum-headed Parakeet typically lays between 3 to 5 eggs, which are incubated for around 22 to 24 days. Both the male and female take turns incubating the eggs, and once they hatch, they continue to take turns feeding the chicks. The chicks fledge after around 6 weeks and become fully independent several weeks later.
It’s worth noting that captive breeding of Plum-headed Parakeets is also possible, and many aviculturists have successfully bred these birds in captivity. However, it’s important to ensure that the birds are kept in appropriate conditions and provided with a suitable nesting site to encourage breeding.
- Since young cock birds resemble adult hens, it is best to purchase a fully mature pair when hoping to breed.
- Pairs usually breed best in separate accommodations but can be bred in a mixed aviary, if it is fairly large.
Nest boxes should be slightly larger than the normal budgerigar box, although some Plum-Head pairs use this size. Boxes should be hung fairly high with space left on top to allow the bird to sit and guard the nest. Nesting material should consist of sawdust and wood shavings. This should be provided in the base of the boxes.
Four to six eggs are laid and the hen incubates alone. She does not leave the nest until the eggs have hatched and the chicks are ten days old. The cock bird feeds the hen and chicks from the time the eggs are laid. Hard-boiled eggs, soaked bread, ants’ eggs, mealworms, and soaked and sprouted seeds should be supplied. Plum-Heads are shy breeders and abandon their nests if disturbed.
Plum-Headed Parakeet Information
- The bird is native to countries like India, Sri Lanka, the Western part of Pakistan, and Nepal.
- While in captive the bird is to be given fresh food and water regularly. The birds can be given food items like seeds, fruits, leaf buds, nuts, blooms, and such. You can also offer your little birdie commercial pellets and vegetables. They love to devour nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans. Even food ideal for human beings like cooked chicken, beans, rice, and other grains can be given to the bird. Sometimes an occasional serve of millet sprays may add taste to its diet.
- Arrange for a proper cage that is quite roomy and comfortable. The bird is highly sensitive to freezing temperatures.
- The plum-headed parakeet is an extremely social bird. It stays with other bird species in harmony. Only in the breeding season, they can turn out to be aggressive like all other members of the parakeet family.
- Flying and chewing are very common in parakeets. So, you have to provide them with spacious homes along with toys, wood chew, and swinging perches for the bird.
You are recommended to purchase a plum-headed parakeet from a reputed breeder.
See more: Red-cowled cardinal