. Derbyan parrot
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- An Asiatic parrot
- Scientific Name: Psittacula
derbyana / derbiana
- Common Name/s:
- Sub Species in country / area of origin:
- Origin / Distribution: Tibet
- Habitat In Wild: Mountainous
regions of oak, conifer and pine forests. Will forage in
cultivated farmlands such as cereal or corn fields or fruit
- Status In Wild: Classified as
near threatened. Declining due to habitat loss and trapping for the
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
Secure, but not common.
- Age To Sexual Maturity: about 3
- Adult plumage: attained by about
- 24 months
- Best breeding years (estimate): 3
years onward. May breed for up to 15 years.
- Lifespan (estimate): approx
- Sexing: Monomorphic /
- Colour mutations: ?
- Availability: Specialist
breeders and some bird dealers.
- Temperament: Derbyan parrots
are generally described as non-aggressive birds however some can be
aggressive. Best housed one pair
per aviary. They are a large bird and like to chew timber and wood
perches. Generally breed well in southern cooler states and are
good parents. Apart from during the moult, they maintain good feather condition and present well.
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: -
Normal colour (Approx.) $2000
- Description Of Adults:
- Length: Approx. 500 mm (or approx. 20 inches)
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
photo/s above if available.
- Weight: Approx. 320 gms (or approx. 11 ozs)
Level Of Knowledge
Required: Beginner / Intermediate /
Specialist Breeders Only.
Government Regulations & By-Laws:
Refer to " Government Laws " web page.
Refer to " Housing Birds "
web page for general details on the housing of Non Australian Parrots or
read on for specific details for this parrot.
Best housed as one pair per aviary.
They come from a cool climate.
Recommended aviary length is up to 6 metres (20 feet). They will destroy
timbers and therefore a strong metal framed aviary is essential.
The Derbyan parrot will need an aviary
of at least 4 - 5 metres long. Width of 1200mm ( 4 feet) is recommended. An
aviary of 6 metres long will give these birds the opportunity to do a
lot of flying and maintain good health and fitness. They have strong beaks so a strong wire mesh is
essential. 12 gauge is recommended but 14 gauge may be sufficient.
Non-toxic leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up.
This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds
some beak exercise. Natural branches can be used for perches. These
natural perches will be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced
regularly. The birds will chew any flowers and fruiting
bodies on the branches.
Diet / Feeding: Refer to " Feeding Birds "
web page for general details on the feeding of Non Australian Parrots or
read on for specific details for this parrot.
Natural diet includes seeds, fruits,
berries, nuts and some flower and leaf buds. May obtain some
nectar or pollen from flowers. Will obtain some food items from
orchards and other cultivated areas.
An aviary diet include a good quality small parrot seed mix
with added sunflower seed. Fruits including apple,
orange, pear and grapes; vegetables including green leafy vegetables,
corn on the cob, peas and carrot. Greens such as chickweed,
dandelion leaves and young green seeding dock "weed" plants can be
offered. Seeding grasses, hawthorn berries and other berries (the ones
people eat) are some favourites.
A basic overview only. Dimensions are typical / average and
can vary widely, influenced by the owner's preferences and the birds
preferences. Parent bird's preferences can also be influenced by
the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared.
If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their
own choice. Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and
been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season.
Try and keep that one for their exclusive use. Once a pair has
chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed.
If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight,
ensure the log / nest-box is cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the
minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.
- Nesting months: Starts
October - November
- Log / Nest-box:
/ depth 600 - 800 mm (or approx. 24 - 32 inches)
- Log internal
diameter approx. 300 mm. (or approx. 12
- Nest-box internal dimensions approx.275 - 300
mm square (or approx. 11 - 12 inches square)
- Diameter of
hole approx. 90 - 100 mm (or approx. 3.5 - 4 inches)
- Inspection hole (square or round)
100- 150 mm
(or approx 4 - 6 inches)
- A removable top / lid can be a
useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
- Location and height
of log / nest-box = high in the covered part of the aviary but not
too close to the roof to be affected by heat from the roof in the
- Angle of log or nest box = usually vertical or near vertical.
- Nesting log / nest-box material: Decomposed non-toxic saw
dust, wood shavings or other suitable material/s.
- Who incubates the egg/s:
Hen / cock / both share.
Timber nest-boxes generally require a
climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Both
logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening about 100 - 150mm (about 4
-6 inches) from the top. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole
to be just big enough to squeeze through.
Egg Colour White. Clutch/s
per year usually 1, occasionally 2. Eggs per nest 2 - 4 (usually
3). Incubation approx.
24 - 28 days. Fledge approx. 7 - 8 weeks. Independent approx.
another 5 - 6 weeks.
As with many parrots that are strong
flyers, the inexperienced young can fly into the wire mesh at the open
end of the aviary and this can cause injury or in the worst case, death
of a bird. Placing leafy branches at the end of the aviary will
minimize this problem.
The young are often left with the parent
birds for a month or more and this will generally not cause any problems as the
Derbyan parrot usually only has a single clutch per year. The young
birds will probably keep learning from the parent birds and benefit from
the knowledge they learn. If aggression is observed the effected
bird or birds should be immediately removed to another aviary.
Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not
be covered on this web site. It is too complex and diverse in nature to
be attempted here.
Refer to "Avian Health Issues"
web page for information and references.
- Worming and parasite control and Quarantine
requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to
require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web
site. Refer "Avian Health Issues"
web page option.
- Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep
updating your knowledge and skills.
General References: Refer to references listed on "Book References"
- Australian Aviculture
- A/A Vol 33 No. 9 Sept 1979 Page 156-159
- Australian Birdkeeper
- ABK Vol 14 Issue 7. Feb-Mar 2001 Page 399-402
(R. Low). *
- ABK Vol 12 Issue 8. Apr-May 1999 Page 371-374
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