Psittaciformes (Parrots & Parakeets) has about 350 species, contained within two families, Psittacidae and Cacatuidae (cockatoos). Some authorities regard lorikeets as a separate third family. Parrots vary in size from 10 cm (Buff-faced Pygmy Parrot Micropsitta pusio) to 100 cm (Hyacinth Macaw Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus). All members of the order have zygodactyl feet (two toes face forward and two back). The upper mandible of the Parrots' curved bill is hinged at the joining to the skull which gives it more flexibility than in other birds. The arrangement of lower jaw mandible fitting up under the top one is distinctive. This, and in most species a thick muscular tongue allow parrots to manipulate food items easily in their mouths. The exceptions are a few nectar feeding parrots which have longer, thinner tongue adapted for collecting nectar and pollen from flowers. Most species feed on fruit and seeds but a few will feed on insects as well.

Parrots (parakeet, lorikeet, macaw, cockatoo) are forest birds living in individual pairs, small groups or families. Species that live in open grassland, however, tend to aggregate in larger flocks. The majority of parrots live in the tropics and the southern hemisphere. The northerly most parrot is the Slaty-headed Parakeet (Psittacula himalayana), and the most southerly the Australian Conure (Enicognathus ferrugineus).

Parrots are generally monogamous forming strong pair bonds which in some cases last for life. Nearly all parrots make simple nests in tree holes. Often these contain no lining material. Some species such as the Love Birds and Hanging Parakeets build complete nests, transporting nesting material by stuffing it into the feathers on their rumps. Of the few species that do not nest in tree holes, most nest in holes in grass tussocks though the Conures of S. America excavate holes in the sides of cliffs. The Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monarchus) from S. America, builds a large communal nest of twigs within which each participating pair has its own nest. For the monogamous species courtship is simple involving a few bowing, eye blinking and wing flexing maneuvers. Species like the polygamous Kea (Nestor notabilis), and the Leking Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus) behave differently.

Parrots lay 2 or 3 eggs, though up to 5 may be laid in some cases. Eggs are white and almost spherical. The young are altricial, they hatch with few or no feathers except a fine down and are totally dependent on their parents for food and protection for some weeks before they can leave the nest. In many species the young are fed by the adults for some time even after leaving the nest.

Parrots are popular pets due to their colorful patterns and cute mannerisms, including picking things up with their feet and climbing with their bills. Several species of parrot enjoy popularity because of their ability to mimic human speech. This popularity has made a number of species endangered in the wild because of excessive trapping for the pet trade. There are 13 species of parrots in India, one belongs to the sub-family Loriinae (lorikeets) and the rest to Psittacinae.

Family: Psittacidae

Sub-family: Loriinae

Vernal Hanging-Parrot Loriculus vernalis - widespread resident

Sub-family: Psittacinae

Red-breasted Parakeet Psittacula alexandri - widespread resident
Nicobar Parakeet Psittacula caniceps - local resident
Malabar Parakeet Psittacula columboides - widespread resident
Plum-headed Parakeet Psittacula cyanocephala - widespread resident
Derbyan Parakeet Psittacula derbiana - local resident
Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria - widespread resident
Grey-headed Parakeet Psittacula finschii - local resident
Slaty-headed Parakeet Psittacula himalayana - local resident
Intermediate Parakeet Psittacula intermedia - local resident?
Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri - widespread resident
Long-tailed Parakeet Psittacula longicauda - local resident
Blossom-headed Parakeet Psittacula roseata - local resident

Birds Bird Diagram Ornithology Indian Sites Bird Watching Migration North India Birds of India Haryana

All rights reserved.  Copyright 2005-2013  Birds and birding in India.   Disclaimer

website: Free Java Guide & Tutorials