Barraband Parakeet

Barraband Parakeet

Scientific Name: Polytelis swainsonii

Origin: Southeastern Australia

Average Lifespan: Up to 25 years

Size: Medium, up to 16 inches

Color: Mainly green

Sounds: Relatively quiet

Interaction: Highly social

barraband parakeet perching

Photo: Troy Bell | Flickr

Physical Characteristics of Barraband Parakeet

Their body is covered predominantly with green plumage down to their long tail feathers. The lower body is yellow green in shade. According to avian researchers, these birds don’t actually have a green colored feather when viewed in microscope. They have white feathers that blends in with green color during daylight. According to their research, the brighter the sun shines, the greener their feathers would become.

Both male and female amazons have yellow-orange color of iris, grey feet, pinkish red bills, and grey circles around the eye area.  You can easily distinguish which is the male between a pair by looking at a red band across their upper chest, face that has a bright yellow shade down to the throat and slightly tinged blue napes.

The absence of these colors identifies the female species. Moreover the male’s primary flight wings have blue long outer webbing.

To further identify the female, notice their primary green color as it is duller compared to the male. Their face is pale bluish green, greyish green throat, and pink under tails. Juvenile birds have similarities to the female specie except that the younger ones have brown irises. The male specie will fully develop its permanent color after 1 year.

Personality and Temperament

According to bird experts, the Barraband parakeet is well loved because of its beautiful physical appearance, peaceful disposition, and very gentle personality. Some owners of this specie would attest that they are endearing pet birds. They are highly social and must be maintained in groups. They easily adapt to their own kind and even to other species.

The male Barrabands are more suitable as pet birds compared to the female ones. It is said that the male species have the potential to become great talkers and can even imitate human speech when trained in captivity.

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Health and Care

Since these birds must be kept in group, it is recommended to house them in very large cages or much better in aviaries where they can move freely from one place to another as they are also quite huge in size for a cage. The Barraband parakeets must be provided with healthy, well-balanced diet of seeds and grains mixture, nuts, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. These birds would often stay in the ground to feed. That is why they need to be dewormed regularly as they are quite susceptible to foot problems and eye infections.

When breeding them in captivity, they need to be provided with large nesting box of at least 8 inches in diameter. It is also suggested to provide them with soft insects for food to help them feed their youngs and to provide them adequate amount of protein needed.

History and Background

The Barraband parakeet is known in different names like the Superb parrot and Green Leek Parrot. It was the French naturalist, Desmarest, who first described this specie in 1826.

The specie is now known to be decreasing in numbers and is threatened to decrease further due to habitat loss. In fact, in 2005, it was reported that the Barraband parakeet specie drastically diminished by almost 60% in population due to the rampant illegal logging and deforestation.  If the pattern of forest destruction continues, these birds will soon be enlisted among the species of endangered animals.

Breeding these birds is not relatively hard as they can produce 2 clutches in a year. The female is able to lay 4 to 6 eggs in each clutch in which the incubation period lasts for 20 up to 22 days.

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