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Plum-Headed Parakeets – Facts, Diet & Habitat 

plum-headed parakeets

Plum-Headed Parakeets


It was formerly believed that the Plum-headed parakeets (Psittacula cyanocephala), a colorful parrot, was conspecific with the Bossom-headed parakeet. Plum-headed parakeets are flock-loving birds that fly quickly, twisting and turning as they go, all while emitting their characteristic sounds.

plum-headed parakeets
Plum-Headed Parakeets

Appearance


The plum-headed parakeet parrot’s primary color is green. The female has a blueish-gray head, while the male has a red head that fades to purple-blue on the rear of the crown, neck, and cheeks. There is a black chin stripe that runs from the lower mandible and a slender black neck collar with verdigris below on the nape.


The rump and tail are bluish-green, with a white tip on the tail; there is a red shoulder patch. The lower mandible is black, whereas the upper mandible is orangish-yellow. The female misses the black and verdigris collar in favor of a yellow one, and her head has a drab greyish-blue color. There is no red shoulder patch or black chin stripe, and the upper mandible is corn-yellow in color.


The heads of immature birds are green, and their mandibles are yellow-colored. One year later, the dark head is obtained. A mix of red pigment in the barbules and blue from the optical properties of the feather’s rami gives the feather a delicate peach-like bluish-red look.

Native Town


Native to the Indian Subcontinent are plum-headed parakeets. They do not exist in the arid areas of western India; instead, they are found from the foothills of the Himalayas south to Sri Lanka. Even in urban gardens, plum-headed parakeets may be found in woodlands and open woodland.

Habits and Lifestyle

Plum-headed parakeets are noisy, social birds that use a variety of loud sounds to interact with one another. They share a roost as well. ‘Tuink’ is their standard flight and contact call, which they occasionally repeat. The birds fly quickly, frequently twisting and turning quickly. The availability of the fruit and flowers that make up their food is the primary factor influencing the diurnal and local movements of plum-headed parakeets.

Nutrition and Diet


The food of plum-headed parakeets is herbivorous, or frugal and granivorous. These birds assault agricultural fields and orchards sometimes, and they consume grains, fruits, and the fleshy petals of flowers (Salmalia, Butea).

  • Herbivore
  • Frugivore
  • Granivore

Behavior

Plum-headed parakeets are known for their acrobatic flight displays, often seen during mating rituals or while foraging for food. They are highly social birds and are commonly found in flocks, especially during the non-breeding season. These flocks can vary in size from just a few individuals to large gatherings numbering in the hundreds.

Mating Habits


Strong couples are formed by monogamous plum-headed parakeets for life. They typically reproduce in December through April in India and July through August in Sri Lanka. Feeding and bill rubbing are two aspects of courtship. The plum-headed parakeets build their nests in holes in tree trunks that they carve out together. The female appears to be entirely in charge of incubation and feeding herself, laying four to six white eggs.

plum-headed parakeets

Population

Population threats

Although the number of plum-headed parakeets is falling as a result of the ongoing loss of their native habitat, they are not currently considered threatened.

Total population

The Plum-headed parakeet is classified as locally common across its range by the IUCN Red List, while an estimate of the total population is unknown. The IUCN Red List now lists this species as Least Concern (LC), while there is a decline in the species’ current population.

Vocalizations

Apart from their distinctive ‘tuink’ flight and contact call, plum-headed parakeets also have a range of vocalizations used for communication within their flock. These can include squawks, chirps, and whistles, each serving different purposes such as warning calls, alarm calls, or simply social interactions.

Conservation Efforts

Conservation efforts for the plum-headed parakeet primarily focus on habitat preservation and reducing human-induced threats such as deforestation and illegal trapping for the pet trade. Initiatives involving community education and engagement are also crucial for raising awareness about the importance of protecting these birds and their habitats.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Plum-headed parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala) stands as a colorful symbol of the diverse avian life found in the Indian Subcontinent. Despite facing threats from habitat loss and illegal trapping, these charismatic birds continue to thrive in various wooded habitats, enchanting observers with their acrobatic flight displays and vibrant plumage.

While the current population of Plum-headed parakeets faces challenges, concerted conservation efforts can help mitigate these threats and secure a brighter future for these birds. Through habitat preservation, responsible pet ownership, community involvement, support for research, and awareness-raising initiatives, we can contribute to the protection of Plum-headed parakeets and their natural habitats.

By fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for these birds, we can ensure that future generations have the opportunity to marvel at the beauty of Plum-headed parakeets in the wild.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. Are Plum-headed parakeets endangered?

While the Plum-headed parakeet is currently classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List, its population is declining due to habitat loss and other human-induced threats. Conservation efforts are crucial to ensure their long-term survival.

Q.What do Plum-headed parakeets eat?

Plum-headed parakeets are herbivorous birds, feeding on a variety of fruits, grains, and the fleshy petals of flowers such as Salmalia and Butea. They may also raid agricultural fields and orchards for food.

Q. How do Plum-headed parakeets communicate?

Plum-headed parakeets communicate through a range of vocalizations, including their distinctive ‘tuink’ flight and contact call, as well as squawks, chirps, and whistles for social interactions and alarm calls.

Q. Where can Plum-headed parakeets be found?

Plum-headed parakeets are native to the Indian Subcontinent, ranging from the foothills of the Himalayas south to Sri Lanka. They prefer wooded habitats such as deciduous forests, wooded areas near water bodies, and urban gardens with mature trees.

Q. How can I contribute to Plum-headed parakeet conservation?

You can contribute to Plum-headed parakeet conservation by supporting habitat preservation efforts, advocating for responsible pet ownership, engaging in community-based conservation initiatives, supporting research initiatives, and raising awareness about the conservation status of these birds.

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