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Animal Detail ViewՄանրամասն` նրանց մասին

28.02.2012

Plum-headed parakeet (Psittacula Cyanocephala)


Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Subfamily: Psittacinae
Genus: Psittacula
Species: Psittcula cyanocephala

Description

The Plum-headed Parakeet is a beautiful colored bird which achieves a body-length up to 33 centimeter. Its characteristic plumage is predominately green colored. Males have a purple-blue and red head, which is framed by a black neck and chin stripe. Behind the black stripe the feathers on the rump tends to be greyish-blue. The long tail is more blue colored as well and has a white tip. On both of its shoulders the male Plum-headed Parakeet has a red patch. Its upper beak is orange whereas the lower beak is black. In general the plumage of females is duller. The shoulder patches and the neck stripe lacks and the color of the head tends to be gray. In contrast to the male birds the lower beak is bright yellow. Young birds are completely green and the bill is similar to the bills of female birds. It needs more than one year until young birds get the same coloration as adult individuals.

Range and Habitat

The Plum-headed Parakeet is endemic to the Indian Subcontinent and is found in countries as India, West Parkistan. Southern Nepal, Southern Bhutan and Sri Lanka. It prefers open wooded areas and tropical and subtropical forests.

Behavior

Like many Parrots the Plum-headed Parakeet is a social bird that communicates with a wide range of calls and screams. Its voice is cawing and noisy. Mostly it lives in small groups and sometime it forms flocks. The species is quite resident but may moves locally according to the availability of food. Its diet is based on fruits, nuts and blossoms. Sometimes it eats also insects. Its strong bill helps to open nuts! When breeding time takes place they live in pairs but also breed in small colonies. Holes in trees are used as nests or the birds built nests in high trees. The female lays between 4 and 6 eggs. The parents and older single birds care often more than a half year for their chicks until the small become totally independent.

Plum-headed Parakeet in captivity

Besides Woodpeckers and birds of the Corvidae family Plum-headed Parakeets belong to one of the most intelligent order of all birds: Parrots. Humans were always fascinated by this beautiful and exotic colored bird. When humans started to domesticate parrots, thousand birds were trapped and exported, which caused a dramatic declining in the number of populations. Already in the middle Age the ownership of parrots was a symbol of wealth and power. And also the training of these animals became a popular hobby. Indeed, humans mostly gave them undeserving living conditions: Often they were chained up with one leg. This wrong treatment often leads to self-destructive behavior as plucking feathers. For Plum-headed Parakeets pet trade never played such a big rule than for many other birds. Because of their loud voice and their screaming they have never been the most popular pet of all parrots species. However, the trade was strong enough to cause a drastic declining of population size, especially the species does not occupy a wide range. In order to avoid self-destructive behavior it is very important that an owner promises enough space, a healthy diet and especially company of an other parrot and possibilities for activities. At least two Plum-headed Parakeets should be live in the same cage or rather in an outdoor enclosure.

Conversation Status

Despite of the drastic decline because of pet trade, today the species is assigned to the category of Least Concern on the Red List of threatened animals of IUCN, which means that at there is no worry about their extinction at the moment. But populations decline, especially in urban areas that are huge inhabitated.

Short Facts

  • Unlike other parrots the Plum-headed Parakeet doesn't learn to talk in captivity, but it can mimic beeps and whistles.
  • Bhutan and Sri Lanka have issued stamps on which the Plum-headed Parakeet is depicted.
  • Like people are right- or left-handed Plum-headed Parakeets tend to using one foot more than the other.
  • When much food is available the birds flock together in large numbers. Therefor for humans they are often a pest, plundering farmlands and destroying the crop.



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