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GALLERIES > BIRDS > PSITTACIFORMES > PSITTACIDAE > ALEXANDRINE PARAKEET [Psittacula eupatria]


Alexandrine Parakeet Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

Binomial name Psittacula eupatria
(Linnaeus, 1766)

The Alexandrine Parakeet or Alexandrine Parrot (Psittacula eupatria) is a mainly green parrot which is a resident breeder from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to Southeast Asia. It undergoes local movements, driven mainly by the availability of the fruit, seeds and blossoms which make up its diet. The Alexandrine Parakeet's habitat is forest, open woodland and cultivation. It is scarce in much of its range. It nests in holes in large trees, laying 2"?4 white eggs. The Alexandrine Parakeet is a gregarious and noisy species, forming huge flocks at evening roosts. Its flight is swift and direct, and the call is a loud scream, similar to but deeper than that of the Rose-ringed Parakeet, P. krameri. The species is named after Alexander the Great, who is credited with returning from the Punjab with one of the birds as a pet.

Description

Alexandrine Parakeets are mainly green, measuring between 56 and 62 cm (22 & 24 ins) with a tail up to 35 cm (about 14 ins) in length. The male's head is green with grey-blue cheeks and nape. There is a broad black neck ring and broad pink nape band. There is a brownish-red shoulder patch and the tail is yellow-tipped bluish-green. The bill is yellow-tipped red. Females and young birds lack the black neck ring and pink nape band and are duller.

Taxonomy

There are five sub-species, differing in mostly minor plumage details and size:

  • P. e. eupatria (nominate Alexandrine Parakeet),
  • P. e. avensis (Burmese Alexandrine Parakeet),
  • P. e. magnirostris (Andaman Islands Alexandrine Parakeet),
  • P. e. nipalensis (Nepalese Parakeet) and
  • P. e. siamensis (Laos or Siamese Alexandrine Parakeet)

Nigell J. Collar suspects that these subspecies may not represent true sub species but clinal variation. This is particularly so for the P.e. nipalensis.

Conservation

Although the Alexandrine Parakeet is still considered a Least Concern species, trapping pressure to cater to the demands of the pet trade have caused a drastic decline in this species in the wild. It is illegal to trade wild-caught Alexandrine Parakeets in India; however, these birds are sold in broad daylight in urban bird markets, due to weak law implementation.

Aviculture

Hand-raised Alexandrine Parakeets are popular pets, known for their tameness, ability to talk and vivid coloring. However, they require a rather tall cage to accommodate their long tails and need wooden toys to keep themselves stimulated and to keep their beaks in shape. They are amongst the highest-fetching species of parakeets in the pet trade.

Gallery

Male at nest in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

Three Alexandrines in a palm tree

A year old

Almost a year old

Young

Juvenile

she is around 4 months old

Alexandrine Parakeet flapping her wings

Male at nest in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

Female

Cultural depictions
  • Thailand, Mongolia and Iran have issued stamps depicting the Alexandrine Parakeet.





                                     



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