Alexandrine Parakeet

Alexandrine Parakeet

Scientific Name: Psittacula eupatria

Origin: India and Southeast Asia

Average Lifespan: Up to 30 years

Size: Medium to Large, up to 23 inches

Color: Mostly green with maroon patches on their wings and bluish green upper ­tail feathers

Sounds: Talkers, very good in mimicking human sounds

Interaction: Independent and very social

 

alexandrine parakeet

Photo:  Diana Tsang | Flickr

 

Physical Characteristics of Alexandrine Parakeet

Cousins to the Indian and African Ringnecks, the Alexandrine also got the same features like those of its smaller cousins—the green color of their body feathers, rings around the neck, red beaks, and their long tails. The most prominent marking that makes it different from its relatives is the maroon patches on the wings or what they call the “shoulder patch” as well as the bluish-green on the feathers particularly on the upper tail area. There is also a big difference on their measurements as the Alexandrine parakeets are relatively large and heavy.

Personality and Temperament

This specie, which belongs to the semi large breeds, is an ideal pet particularly to those who like to have pet birds to cuddle with and train at the same time. This specie loves to be hand held and are very fond to their human especially if a bond has been built or when acquired as early as right after weaning. Unlike their Indian Ringneck cousins who are more aggressive, the Alexandrine Parakeets are not temperamental and have very stable attitude which are some of the reasons why this specie is a favorite among bird lovers. Aggressiveness of this specie are shown towards other bird types but not with their own kind.

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They are very smart animals and are easily trained as they have docile personalities. They can speak human words and can mimic sounds especially when thought during their younger years. The female parakeet during the breeding period can become a little cranky and will nip at times because of the nesting period it has to go through or some hormonal changes but in nature, female parakeets also share the same personality as the male ones.

Health and Care

Caring for these birds will require human interaction.  These birds are becoming uncommon in the aviaries or under the care of bird collectors as they have been acquired nowadays as house pets. Because Alexandrine parakeets could grow up to as much as 23 inches, a huge cage is required but it is also recommended that you place them on a play stand so they could move around freely and flap their wings which is also a form or exercise for them.

This bird specie is also known for their excessive chewing habit and they would most likely to chew on anything near them. For this reason, make sure that their cage or play stand is made from non-toxic paint or metals. Offer them something to chew on to keep them busy like soft wood toys, chewbones, or any other chewable toys that are safe for them. Giving them toys is also ideal as it provides them with something to stimulate their minds.

The Alexandrine parakeet diet must consist of highly nutritious foods such as combination of pellet, bird seeds, and nuts.  Give them fruits, and vegetables too. It is recommended that you steam their veggies first like steamed carrots, pumpkin, and peas. Like their smaller cousins, it is also ideal to provide them with high-protein food from time to time to complete their nutritional needs. Cooked chicken and beef meat is recommended in small feeding.

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History and Background

The Alexandrine parakeet is related to the Indian and African ringneck species. This bird specie is named after Alexander the Great because of his notable contribution in the exportation of these birds to the European and Mediterranean countries. These birds are the favorite pets of the royalties during the old times.  It’s scientific name “Eupatria” is derived from the Greco-Latin word meaning  “of noble ancestry”.

In the wild, these birds usually flock into 8-20 birds. The female Alexandrine parakeet can lay up to 2 -4 eggs with incubation of up to 28 days. At 7 weeks, the birdlings will start to fledge and the parent birds start to train them to collect food from the day they start to fledge up to 3 weeks until they can survive on their own. Their sexes can be identified only after maturity when their permanent feathers start growing or even up to 3 years of age.

Sad to say, the population of this bird type are slowly diminishing particularly in their native origin, Indian and Pakistan, because of excessive poaching and destruction of forests which is their natural habitat. In fact, they are already considered as endangered and are no longer allowed to be sold or traded in these countries, nor being owned as pet.

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