|Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves (Birds) Order: Psittaciformes Family: Psittacidae|
Plum-headed Parakeet - image © Rajiv Lather
Identification: Male - Generally green. Deep red head. Lower cheeks and collar black. Blue-green band on neck. Green-blue underwing, dark red patch on upper wing. Blue tail tipped with white, yellow side feathers. Orange-yellow upper beak, brown-black lower. Pale yellow eyes. Green-grey legs. Female - Dull blue head. Yellow collar. No red wing patch. Upper beak pale yellow, lower grey. Juvenile - Green head. Orange forehead. Tail shorter than adult's. Yellow beak.
Call: Shrill in flight, quieter notes when perching.
Distribution: India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan. In Sri Lanka, is common along the foothills in open woodland. In India, is common near cultivated land and in parks and towns. Not as common in Nepal.
Habits: Large flocks may gather to feed on grain crops but usually in small groups. Roost at dusk in a large flock in trees or bamboo. Very noisy until nightfall. Flight is swift.
Food: In the wild: Seeds, fruits, nuts, blossoms and leaf buds. Damage orchards and rice crops.
Breeding: India, December to April. Sri Lanka, February to May and again August to September. Nest: Excavate a hole in a tree or enlarge the holes of other birds. Nest together in the same tree or trees close by. Eggs: 4-6. Rounded. Incubated by the female for 24 days. Chicks: Leave the nest 6 weeks after hatching. After the first moult juveniles have plumage similar to the female. Males have full adult plumage in their third year.