Blossom-headed Parakeets

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Blossom-headed Parakeet (Psittacula roseata)

The Blossom-headed Parakeet (Psittacula roseata) is native to northeast India eastwards into Southeast Asia. It undergoes local movements, driven mainly by the availability of the fruit and blossoms which make up a large part of its diet.

The Blossom-headed Parakeet is a bird of forest and open woodland. It nests in holes in trees, laying 4-5 white eggs.

The Blossom-headed Parakeet is a gregarious and noisy species with range of raucous calls


Description:

This is a green parrot, about 12 inches (30 cm) long with the tail accounting for more than half of that length. They weigh, on average, 2.5 to 3 ounces (~ 75 - 85g).

The male's head is pink becoming pale blue on the back of the crown, nape (back of the neck) and cheeks. There is a narrow black neck collar and a black chin stripe. There is a red shoulder patch and the rump and tail are bluish-green, the latter tipped yellow. The upper beak is yellow, and the lower beak is dark.

The female has a pale grey head and lacks the black neck collar and chin stripe patch. The lower beak (mandible) is pale. Immature birds have a green head and a grey chin. Both upper and lower beak are yellowish and there is no red shoulder patch.

Female attain their adult plumage at 15 months and males by 30 months.

There are a couple of possible mutations listed on www.psittacula-world.com

Similar Species ID: This species if often confused with the Blossom-headed Parakeet. The male Plum-headed Parakeet has a darker red head, while the male Blossom-headed Parakeet's head is pink. The Blossom-headed Parakeets have yellow tail tips, while the Plum-headed Parakeet has white tail tips.


Blossom-headed Parakeet - MalePet Quality / Training and Behavioral Guidance:

As these parakeets are so rare, experts prefer any captive birds to be placed into a well-managed breeding program. If for some reason, an individual is unsuitable for breeding and you are considering it for your aviary or as pet, you may want to consider the following.

Ringneck parrots are less demanding than other parrot species, which makes them an excellent choice for someone who wants to "step up" from an easy-going and easy-care cockatiel or budgie.

Consistent training and behavioral guidance from a young age is recommended to ensure potential owners enjoy a bird free of destructive and annoying habits.


Behavioral Challenges of the Ringneck Parrot and Behavioral Guidance (Training)


Breeding the Blossom-headed Parakeets:

Blossom-headed ParakeetsThese parakeets are rare and expensive and require experienced breeders. Immature Blossom-headed Parakeets, Slaty headed and Plum headed Parrots are almost identical so if you purchase young birds, be sure to do so only from a reputable breeder.

To ensure breeding success, each pair is best provides its own aviary. Do not house them with Slaty-headed Parakeetst or Plum-headed Parrots to avoid hybridization. Blossom headed parrots make attractive aviary occupants and are generally not aggressive to smaller birds. The Blossom headed parrot is usually quiet and are not very destructive of timber.

The hen is usually the dominant bird.  She reaches breeding age at about 3 years.  New pairs should be introduced to each other several months prior to the start of the breeding season so the birds have plenty of time to establish a strong bond between each other.  A good pair bond will usually result in better breeding results. 

Housing and Diet:

The minimum aviary size should be about 10 feet (3 meters) in length and 3 to 3.5 feet (about one meter) wide. Double wiring between each aviary flight is necessary. Non-toxic leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up. This will entertain the birds and give the birds some beak exercise. Natural branches of various diameters, and placed at various angles, make great perches; and satisfies their need for chewing.

This parrot should be provided a quality parrot seed mix along with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Seeding grasses and green can be offered.Sprouted or germinated seeds are usually more easily accepted by "seed addicts" than fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • Sprouted seeds are healthier as the sprouting changes and enhances the nutritional quality and value of seeds and grains. Sprouted seeds are lower in fat, as the process of sprouting utilizes the fat in the seed to start the growing process - thus reducing the fat stored in the seeds.
  • Sprouted seeds will help balance your bird’s diet by adding a nutritious supply of high in vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll.
  • Soaked and germinated "oil" seeds, like niger and rape seeds, are rich in protein and carbohydrates; while "starch" seeds, such as canary and millets, are rich in carbohydrates, but lower in protein.
  • It is an invaluable food at all times; however, it is especially important for breeding or molting birds. Sprouted seeds also serve as a great rearing and weaning food as the softened shell is easier to break by chicks and gets them used to the texture of seeds.

Nesting Box:

Dimensions are average and can vary widely, influenced by the bird's and the owner's preferences.  Parent bird's preferences can be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which they have been raised. Offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, will allow the parent birds to make their own choice.  Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season. Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed. 

The length of a nest box / log should approximate 20 inches. A log's internal diameter about 8 to 9 inches square; and the internal diameters of a nest box about 9 to 10 inches square. The inspection hole should be around 4 inches (square or round). A removable top / lid is recommended for easy inspections and for cleaning. The best location for the nest box / log is high in the covered part of the aviary, but not too close to the roof to be affected by heat from the roof in the summer months.

Wood nest-boxes generally require a climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole to be just big enough to squeeze through.

Nesting:

They generally nest in July / August. producing one clutch per year, with about 4 to 6 eggs each clutch. Both the male and female incubate the eggs for 22 to 24 days. The chicks stay in the next box for about 7 to 8 weeks and are independent within another 2 to 3 weeks after that.

The young are often left with the parent birds for a while after they fledged, and this will generally not cause any problems as the Blossom-headed parrot usually only produce one clutch a year.  The extra time with the parents will provide young birds with additional opportunities to learn from them.   If, however, aggression is observed the affected bird or birds need to be separated.

Inexperienced young blossom-headed parakeets often fly into the wire mesh of the aviary and this can cause injury or even death of a bird.  Attaching leafy branches at the end of the aviary will reduce this problem.

  • Please visit this webpage for more detailed information on breeding.

Ringneck Parrots are generally hardy birds. However, the following diseases have been reported in this species:

Relevant Resources:


Taxonomy:

Species: Scientific: Psittacula roseata roseata ... English: Blossom-headed Parakeet ... Dutch: Bloesemkopparkiet ... German: Rosenkopfsittich ... French: Perruche à tête rose ... CITES II - Endangered Species

Distribution: Lower Himalayas in West Bengal, Assam to Pakistan, northern Burma


Burmese Blossom-headed Parakeets:

Distribution: southernmost Assam and southern Burma east across Thailand to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Description: As blossom-headed Parakeet described / featured above, but plumage generally slightly paler and more yellowish; brown-red patch to wing-coverts slightly larger; middle tail-feathers very slightly paler blue; outer feathers paler yellow-green. Female and immatures as in nominate type, but plumage likewise generally more yellowish. ... Length: 30 cm (12 ins)

Species: Scientific: Psittacula roseata juneae ... English: Burmese Blossom-headed Parakeet ... Dutch: Burma Bloesemkopparkiet ... German: Birma Rosenkopfsittich ... French: Perruche à tête rose de Junea ... CITES II - Endangered Species

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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