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Plum-headed parakeet

Scientific Name: Psittacula cyanocephala

Plum-headed parakeets are one of the smaller members of the parrot family. They have plum coloured heads and green body plumage. Males have a much greyer head with a black neck ring. Females do not have these black chins and instead have a yellow ring around the neck. Juveniles are green all over.

These parakeets have a breeding season from December to April throughout their range. In Sri Lanka they may have an additional season in July and August. Nests are made in holes in tree trunks and branches, with several pairs nesting together as a colony in small groups of trees. The four to five eggs hatch after 24 days incubation. Once hatched the chicks remain in the nest for around six weeks.

Plum-headed parakeets generally eat more fruit than other parakeets. However, their diet still includes large amounts of seeds in addition to fruit and nectar. These parakeets have been known to destroy crops when they arrive in flocks of over 100 birds. These crops include rice, maize, sorghum, vegetables and orchard fruit.

Plum-headed parakeets are classed as Least Concern by the IUCN. They are common throughout their range. However, their range has decreased in some areas because of habitat destruction.

Key Facts:

  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Distribution: Indian Subcontinent
  • Habitat: Coniferous & Broadleaf Forests
  • Diet: Fruit, Nectar, Seeds
  • Weight: 55 – 85g
  • No. of young: 4 – 5
  • Life Span: 19 years

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