Alexandrine parakeet

Alexandrine parakeet
Psittacula eupatria

Photo by Michael Schmolz (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
Alexandrine parakeet (en); piriquito-de-Alexandre (pt); perruche alexandre (fr); cotorra alejandrina (es); Alexandersittich (de)

Order Psittaciformes
Family Psittacidae

This species is found from Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan, through India and Nepal and into Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, southern Laos, Cambodia and southern Vietnam.

These birds are 50-62 cm long and weigh 200-260 g.

The Alexandrine parakeet is found in various forest habitats, including both moist and dry tropical forests, riverine forests, mangroves, degraded evergreen forests and coconut plantations. They also use both moist and dry scrublands and hot deserts. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.600 m.

They feed on various wild and cultivated seeds, flowers, flower buds, nectar, grain, fruit and vegetables, namely guavas Psidium guajava, and the nectar of Salmalia, Butea and Erythrina.

Alexandrine parakeets breed in November-April. They nest in tree cavities, palms, and very rarely buildings, where the female lays 2-4 eggs which are incubated for 24-28 days. The chicks fledge about 7 weeks after hatching, but only become fully independent at 3-4 months of age.

IUCN status – NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a very large breeding range. There is no reliable estimate of the global population size, but the species is reported to be of variable abundance across its range. The population is suspected to be in moderately rapid decline overall, owing to on-going habitat destruction and unsustainable levels of exploitation. This species is widely captured and traded as a cage-bird, namely in Cambodia, Thailand and Pakistan, while destruction of nest-sites is also a problem in Pakistan. Loss of lowland forests and large-scale conversion to agriculture is a widespread and severe problem in many parts of their range. The Alexandrine parakeet is listed in the CITES agreement against wildlife trade and some of its habitat receives protection.

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