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Bird of the Week – Malabar Parakeet

23 September 2010 No Comment

The Malabar Parakeet (Psittacula columboides) – also known as the Blue-winged Parakeet – is endemic to Southern India where it is still locally fairly common – though their numbers have decreased due to loss of habitat and trapping for the pet trade. The IUCN Red List categorizes this species as Least Concern, but still its a fact that the population size has not been quantified yet.

Size & Shapes

Adult parakeets are sized up to 38Cms.

Colorization

Malabar Parakeet
Adult: The male’s overall colour is a bluish-grey, sometimes with a reddish-pink tint. Ring around the neck on Male makes it easily identifiable. The lower ring is a brilliant light blue, while the top ring is more of a greenish dark gray colour. Area around eyes is in green colour. Blue central tail feathers tipped with yellow, the side tail feathers green tipped with yellow; red upper mandible tipped with yellow, brown lower mandible. Eyes are yellow. They have a striking bright red beak with a bone-coloured tip.
Female: Green/blue band around the neck is absent among females; green on face and fore-crown is minimal; pale green mantle, breast and abdomen, often suffused with grey. Black bill is another distinctive item.

Behaviour

These parakeets are social birds and live in small groups composed of four to five individuals. They may be observed in small flocks in rare occasions. Their loud and distinctive call makes them often heard before they are seen. They generally make their homes at tall trees in humid deciduous and evergreen forests.

Call

Loud and noisy calls make it easily spottable.
[audio:http://www.birdsofkerala.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/malabarparakeetcallsindiaFarrow.mp3|titles=Malabar Parakeet]

Breeding

The breeding time of Malabar Parakeets usually begins in January and lasts through March. Usually consists of 3 to 5 eggs, which the female incubates for 3 weeks. The chicks fledge when they are about 3 weeks old.

Diet

In their natural environment they consume mainly fruits such as figs, flowers, leaf buds, pollen, seeds, small nuts, and nectar.

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