Scientific Name: Psittacula eupatria
Other Common Names: Alexandrine Parakeet
Native Country: India but introduced thriving populations around the world including the Middle East, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Netherlands.
Habitat: Woodland and Agricultural crops
Height (Head to Tail): 55 – 65cm, Medium Size
Lifespan: up to 35 years
Weight: 200 – 300g
Alexandrine Parrot – Appearance:
The Alexandrine is a beautiful parrot that ranges in all shades of green. The tail and wings are a darker shade of green compared to the head. The underside of the tail feathers are a bright yellow.
Unlike most parrots, the Alexandrine is dimorphic. What does this mean? Once these birds reach sexual maturity (3 years of age), males will have pitch black neck rings whereas females will display a light grey colored neck ring. In addition to that, males will have a pink shaded nape band which connects to the black neck ring. (Have a look at the image above)
You may mistake this bird for a Green Indian Ringed-Neck parrot. However don’t be fooled! See the patch of maroon feathers on the shoulders below? Yes, well this is unique to the Alexandrine Parrot.
Alexandrine Parrot – Diet:
The Alexandrine parrot has a very similar diet to other medium sized parrots in captivity, consisting of pellets, fruit, vegetables and nuts.
70% Pellets – Specialized pellets formulated for Alexandrine Parrots. Popular brands include: Lafeber’s , ZuPreem Smart Selects Food and Vetafarm Nutriblend Pellets Small
15% Fresh Vegetables – Broccoli, Spinach, Capsicum/Peppers, Corn, Carrot, Cucumber, Zucchini, Sweet Potato
15% Fruit/Nuts – Plums, Banana, Apples, Figs, Berries, Orange, Pear, Melons, Sunflower Seeds, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Almonds, Sprouted Seeds
Tip: Hide nuts within toys to keep your bird entertained and foraging for hours.
|LAFEBER’S Tropical Fruit Nutri-Berries 3lb|
|Harrison’s Adult Lifetime Coarse 5lb|
|Vetafarm Nutriblend Pellets Large 1.6kg|
Alexandrine Parrot – Essentials:
When bringing your little birdie home for the first time, you will need to ensure you have the basics sorted beforehand.
- Bird Cage – It’s best to buy the largest cage you can afford and fit within your space. As a guide, the cage size should be at least 200cm x 200cm x 200cm (W x L x H). It’s best to line the cage with newspaper to easily clean their droppings/mess.
- Cage Cover – any cloth that covers 90% of the cage so the bird can sleep in darkness e.g. light blanket or sheet
- Perch – at least 2 perches, preferably sturdy natural bark branches to keep their nails naturally trimmed. It’s a great idea to have an external perch i.e. on top of the cage so your bird can explore out of the cage.
- Toys – at least 4 toys to begin with for mental stimulation/entertainment. The size of toys will depend on your cage size. I highly recommend foraging toys or those that can be chewed e.g. large rope knots, wooden blocks or weaved mats.
- Bowls – 3x bowls (one for seeds, one for fresh fruit/vegetables and the other for water); your bird might use the water bowl to bath too, that’s completely fine!
Still not sure? Click here to download our 100% FREE bird care checklist here.
Alexandrine Parrot – Behavior:
- Socialization: Alexandrine Parrots are sociable parrots. Not only can they be housed with a few members of their own kind but can be loyal to other family or friends within the household. They are intelligent birds that are curious of their surroundings. However be aware, just like any other parrot, they are prone to bad habits like nipping or plucking when stressed, bored or scared.
- Vocalization: These parrots have loud calls that resemble a high pitched squawk. They can be very noisy so caution your neighbors. Talking or mimicking ability is achievable and an added bonus for keeping these birds as pets. Just like any other bird, teaching your bird to talk requires patience and constant reinforcement. Don’t give up, it’s so worth it (no need for a TV soon…) !
Alexandrine Parrot – Breeding:
On average the Alexandrine Parrot reaches sexual maturity at 3 years of age. They are considered dimorphic breeds meaning female and males look different as adults. To understand the key physical differences between males and females, head over to our Appearance Section.
- Horizontal rectangle shaped nest box made from strong untreated wood (min. dimensions 40x60x100cm – HxWxL) – these birds have strong beaks, so ensure the wood is thick so it cannot be chipped away in the first breeding season
- Nest box filling – non-toxic wood shavings or saw dust
Other facts for breeding are mentioned below:
- Mating Partner: monogamous – one partner for life
- Breeding Season: November – April (in the wild)
- Clutch Frequency: 1 clutch per year
- Clutch Quantity: 2 – 4 eggs per clutch
- Incubation Period: 28 days
- Weaning: 3 – 4 months
Alexandrine Parrot – Health:
|Psittacosis||Appetite loss, fluffed feathers, vomiting, nasal/ocular discharge, diarrhea or pale green feces, breathing difficulties, conjunctivitis, minimal physical movement, tremors||Bacteria: Chlamydia psittaci contracted via infected dried saliva, feathers, mucous and feces|
|Proventricular Dilatation Syndrome “Macaw Wasting Syndrome“||Loss of appetite, vomiting, passing of undigested food in feces, weight loss, overall body weakness, head tremors seizures||Avian Bornavirus (ABV) contracted through feces, saliva and other bodily secretions from birds – causes nerve inflammation|
|Feather Plucking||Form of self mutilation by plucking their own feathers, leaving bald patches of skin||Boredom, lack of mental stimulation, poor diet, illness, stress|
|Psittacine Beak & Feather Disease||Sharp, clubbed or abnormally short feathers, pigment loss in colored feathers, bloody feather shafts||Beak & Feather Disease Virus (BFDV) contracted from other infected birds e.g. oral – parent feeding young or ingestion of virus particles in dust feces|
|Aspergillosis||Weight loss, lethargy, constantly fluffed feathers, difficulty breathing, cloudy eyes, droopy wings||Aspergillus fungus: exposure to spores found in dust, mold, soil – mainly affects malnourished or immunocompromised birds|
|Malnutrition||Nasal discharge, sneezing, wheezing conjunctivitis, poor feather quality, weakness, egg binding, embryonic death||Vitamin A or Calcium deficiency|
|Worms||Diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, malnutrition or blood in feces||Ascaris roundworm or flatworms – eggs passed in droppings|
Did You Know?
1. There are 5 subspecies of the Alexandrine parrot – Large Indian, Large Burmese, Large Andaman, Thai Rose-Ringed and the Nominate Alexandrine Parakeet. Names are related to their country of habitation.
2. The Alexandrine Parakeet is classed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as “Near Threatened”
3. The Alexandrine Parrot is named after Alexander The Great. A species regarded as “precious” by the royals of European and Mediterranean regions.