Friday, December 30

Blue-winged parakeet

   ›      ›   Blue-winged parakeet - Psittacula columboides.

The blue-winged parakeet (Psittacula columboides) also known as Malabar parakeet, belongs to the family of parakeets, Psittaculidae.

These parakeets species are endemic to India. They occur in the Western Ghats and also the adjoining Eastern Ghats of southern India. The blue-winged parakeet are sexually dimorphic. These parakeets are monotypic species.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Blue-winged Parakeet Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Blue-winged parakeet - Overview

  • Scientific name: Psittacula columboides
  • Species author: (Vigors, 1830)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Palæornis columboides Vigors, 1830
  • Family: Psittaculidae › Psittaciformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Blue-winged parakeet, Chinese: 马拉巴鹦鹉, French: Perruche de Malabar, German: Taubensittich, Spanish: Cotorra de Malabar, Russian: Малабарский кольчатый попугай, Japanese: ミドリワカケインコ, Malayalam: നീലത്തത്ത
  • Other names: Malabar Parakeet
  • Distribution: endemic to the Western Ghats of southern India
  • Diet and feeding habits: fruits, berries, seeds, grains, cereals, nuts, flowers, buds
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)
The blue-winged parakeet (Psittacula columboides) is closely related to Layard's parakeet (Psittacula calthrapae), which is endemic to Sri Lanka.

Appearance, physical description and identification

The blue-winged parakeet (Psittacula columboides) is a medium-sized parakeet, measuring 35 to 40 cm in length.
The overall plumage of the blue-winged parakeet is bluish gray. The scapular and covert feathers are dark bluish gray. The nape and upper back are pale gray. There is pale greenish tinge around the eye region. Adult parakeets have a black neck collar and males have a bluish green collar below the black collar. The underwing is pale pinkish blue. The undertail is yellow.

The tail of blue-winged parakeet is long, bluish with pale yellow tip. The beak is strong and the upper mandible is curved. In males the upper mandible is red with yellowish tip and the lower mandible is grayish black. In females, both the mandibles are grayish black. The irises are black and the feet are gray. Their call is a repeated loud screeching sound.
Indian birds - Picture of Blue-winged parakeet - Psittacula columboides
Birds of India - Image of Blue-winged parakeet - Psittacula columboides
Birds of India - Photo of Blue-winged parakeet - Psittacula columboides
Indian birds - Picture of Blue-winged parakeet - Psittacula columboides
Indian birds - Image of Blue-winged parakeet - Psittacula columboides
Birds of India - Photo of Blue-winged parakeet - Psittacula columboides

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These blue-winged parakeet species are endemic to southwestern India, distributed in the Western Ghats and also the adjoining Eastern Ghats. They occur in the states of Kerala, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.

Some of the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of the blue-winged parakeet species in South India are, Amarambalam Reserved Forest - Nilambur, Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Anshi National Park, Wynaad Wildlife Sanctuary, Vazhachal Forest Division, Thattekad Wildlife Sanctuary, Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagarhole National Park, Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kudremukh National Park and Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park.

Ecosystem and habitat

These blue-winged parakeet species have moderate forest dependency. They inhabit tropical, subtropical, evergreen and moist deciduous forest ecosystems. These species inhabit tropical and subtropical evergreen forest, moist deciduous forest, degraded forest, secondary-growth forest, tropical and subtropical moist lowland, tropical and subtropical moist shrubland, shola grasslands and forests, farmland and plantations. They occur in altitudes from 0 to 1600 meters.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these blue-winged parakeet species is mostly wild fruits and berries. Apart from fruits, flowers, buds, tender shoots, leaves, seeds of wild plants and grass, grains, cereals, nuts and nectar are their primary food. They are mostly arboreal. They also feed from the ground.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these blue-winged parakeet species is during December and March in Western Ghats in India. They nest in high tree holes, usually more than 6 meters from the ground. They also make use of abandoned woodpecker and barbet nests. The clutch contains up to 4 eggs. Both the parents incubate the eggs. The eggs hatch in about 23 days and the juveniles fledge after 30 days.

Migration and movement patterns

These blue-winged parakeet species are non-migratory, stationary, resident birds.
Post breeding, the juveniles may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding in their range. Sometimes they become nomadic when dearth of food occurs.

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the blue-winged parakeet (Psittacula columboides) has not been quantified. The overall population size of these species is considered to be stable. Throughout its range it is reported to be common. The generation length is 7.5 years. Their distribution size is about 276,000 sq.km.

The blue-winged parakeet (Psittacula columboides) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable either under the range size criterion or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion. There are no substantial threats that may endanger the survival of these species. Its chicks are sometimes illegally trapped for pet trade.

IUCN and CITES status

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the parakeet species and has listed it as of "Least Concern". CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the blue-winged parakeet (Psittacula columboides).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Psittacula columboides
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Psittaciformes
Family:Psittaculidae
Subfamily:Psittaculinae
Genus:Psittacula
Species:P. columboides
Binomial name:Psittacula columboides
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
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1.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blue-winged_Parakeet.jpg
Image author: Suriyakumars | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blue_winged_parakeet_or_Malabar_parakeet_at_Banasura_Dam.JPG
Image author: Vaibhavcho | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
3.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blue_winged_parakeet_or_Malabar_parakeet_at_Banasura_Dam.JPG
Image author: Vaibhavcho | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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