Tuesday, November 1

Alexandrine parakeet

   ›      ›   Alexandrine parakeet - Psittacula eupatria

The Alexandrine parakeet (Psittacula eupatria) belongs to the parakeet family Psittaculidae. The parakeet species is distributed in Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The Alexandrine parakeet has been introduced into various European and Mediterranean countries and Japan. It has established itself in several European countries. These species of parakeet are considered "Near Threatened". They are listed on Appendix II of CITES.

Taxonomy of Alexandrine parakeet

  • Scientific Name: Psittacula eupatria
  • Common Name: Alexandrine parakeet
  • French: Perruche alexandre; German: Gro├čer Alexandersittich; Spanish: Cotorra alejandrina;
  • Other names: Alexandrian parrot; Psittacus Eupatria Linnaeus, 1766;
  • Family: Psittaculidae › Psittaciformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Linnaeus, 1766)
The five recognized subspecies of Psittacula eupatria are: P. e. nipalensis (Hodgson, 1836), P. e. avensis (Kloss, 1917), P. e. eupatria (Linnaeus, 1766), P. e. siamensis (Kloss, 1917) and P. e. magnirostris (Ball, 1872).

Description

The Alexandrine parakeet is one of the largest bird among the Psittaculidae family. It measures 50 to 60 cm in length and weighs 200 to 260 grams. The overall plumage is green. In adults, the head is green and the nape and lower face have greenish gray feathers. The chest and belly are pale yellowish green. The upper side of the tail feathers is green whereas the underside is yellow. They have a reddish brown shoulder patch on their wing coverts. They have large, massive, red curved bill with pale yellow tip. The immature parakeets and adult females and males share these common characteristics.

In adult birds, the irises are pale yellow and the periopthalmic rings are pale yellowish gray. The adult male parakeet has dark black and pink nape bands. The female bird has very pale gray and pale pink bands. Female parakeets do not have black feathers on the neck. The legs are gray or yellowish gray depending upon the subspecies. Their call is a deep, powerful screeching sound.
Indian birds - Alexandrine parakeet - Psittacula eupatria
Birds of India - Alexandrine parakeet - Psittacula eupatria
Birds of India - Alexandrine parakeet - Psittacula eupatria
Indian birds - Alexandrine parakeet - Psittacula eupatria
Indian birds - Alexandrine parakeet - Psittacula eupatria
Birds of India - Alexandrine parakeet - Psittacula eupatria
Birds of India - Alexandrine parakeet - Psittacula eupatria
Indian birds - Alexandrine parakeet - Psittacula eupatria

Habitat

The Alexandrine parakeet species inhabit dry, deciduous forests, moist lowland forests, trees surrounding cultivated areas, groups of old trees, mangroves and woodlands.

Diet and feeding habits

The diet of the Alexandrine parakeet primarily consists of wild and cultivated fruits, wild and cultivated seeds, nuts, flowers, flower buds, shoots, nectar, tender leaves, grains, cereals and vegetables.

Breeding

The Alexandrine parakeet species usually breed during November to April. The nest is usually a tree cavity; sometimes they may nest in buildings. The clutch usually has 2–4 eggs. The eggs hatch in about four weeks and chick fledge by seventh week of age. The parental care goes on for further three weeks.

Distribution

The Alexandrine parakeet subspecies P. e. nipalensis (Nepalese Alexandrine parakeet) is distributed in northern India, Pakistan, Afganistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. The subspecies P. e. eupatria is distributed in South India and Sri Lanka. The subspecies P. e. magnirostris is distributed in Andaman Island (India) and Coco Island (Myanmar). The subspecies P. e. avensis is distributed in Northeast India (Assam) and Myanmar. The subspecies P. e. siamensis (Siamese Alexandrine parakeet) is distributed in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Movement and migration Patterns

The Alexandrine parakeet are resident birds. They may show seasonal movements for feeding and breeding. North Indian populations appear to be nomadic and may make local migrations.

Conservation status and concerns

The global population of these Alexandrine parakeet has not been quantified. The overall population trend is on moderately rapid decline. The degradation and loss of habitats, loss of lowland forests, destruction of nest-sites by felling of old trees, nest-robbing and capture of adults and nestlings, and illegal pet trade are the major threats to the survival of these parakeet species.

The CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) has listed these parakeet species on Appendix II. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these Alexandrine parakeet species and has listed them as "Near Threatened".

Biological classification of Psittacula eupatria
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Psittaciformes
Family:Psittaculidae
Subfamily:Psittaculinae
Genus:Psittacula
Species:P. eupatria
Binomial name:Psittacula eupatria
Distribution: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Mainland Southeast Asia;
Diet and feeding habits:fruits, nuts, seeds, buds, flowers, flower buds, nectar, grain, tender leaves and vegetables;
IUCN status listing:
Near Threatened

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