. Malabar parrot
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- An Asiatic Parrot
(Click on photo to enlarge)
- Scientific Name: Psittacula
- Common Name/s: MALABAR PARROT, BLUE WINGED PARAKEET.
- Sub Species in country / area of origin:
- Origin / Distribution: South-east
- Habitat In Wild: Tropical forests
and surrounding secondary vegetation. Will forage in cultivated
- Status In Wild: ?
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
- Age To Sexual Maturity: about 12 -
15 months. Best results are obtained if the birds are allowed to
mature fully and first bred at about 2 years of age.
- Adult plumage: attained at about
15 - 18
months, at the end of the first complete moult. The plumage colour
of the cock bird will continue to intensify till they attain the age
of about 30 - 36 months. The full adult cock bird plumage is
- Best breeding years (estimate):
- Lifespan (estimate):
years. They are long lived and 20 years is not unreasonable.
- Sexing: Monomorphic /
Dimorphic. Can be visually sexed at
about 9 months of age. Note difference in beak colour between
sexes. The cock bird has a red beak where as the hen has a black beak.
- Colour mutations: ?
- Availability: Specialist breeders
and some bird dealers.
- Temperament: Maintain good feather
condition and present well. Not as destructive to aviaries as other
Asiatic parrots. Quieter nature than the other Asiatic parrots.
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: -
Normal colour (Approx.) $3500
- Description Of Adults:
The cock bird has a red beak where as the hen has a black beak.
- Length: Approx. 380 mm (or approx 15 inches)
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
- Weight: Approx. ? gms (or approx. ? ozs)
Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced /
Government Regulations & By-Laws:
Refer to " Government Laws " web page.
Housing Requirements: 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.
One pair per aviary. Not suitable
for a mixed species collection. Minimum aviary size should be no
less than 2 metres long. An aviary of about 3 metres long and 1
metre wide (10 ft x 3.5 ft) is preferable. Aviary can be up to 5
metres (16 ft) long.
Construction should be a steel frame with heavy duty wire netting.
They love to chew on timber.
The Malabar Parrot can be housed and
bred in a suspended cage. Access to a conventional aviary during the non
breeding season will allow these birds to regain optimal fitness prior
to the next breeding season. Plenty of exercise minimizes the risk of
birds becoming overweight or obese.
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.
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 and berries. Greens such as chickweed, dandelion leaves
can be offered. Soaked or sprouted seed is eagerly consumed.
Some consume insects such as mealworms, especially around breeding time.
Commercial Parrot pellets can form part of a well balanced food intake.
Nesting: 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: August-
- Log / Nest-box:
/ depth 500 - 600 mm (or approx. 20 - 24 inches)
- Log internal
diameter approx. 200 mm. (or approx. 8
- Nest-box internal dimensions approx.200
mm square (or approx. 8 inches square)
- Diameter of
hole approx. 75 mm (or approx. 3 inches)
- Inspection hole (square or round)
(or approx 4 inches)
- A removable top / lid can be a
useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
- Location and height
of log / nest-box = in a sheltered part of the aviary and at about
1.5 - 1.8 metres height, but not too close to the roof to cause heat
problems in the hotter months.
- Angle of log or nest box = 45 degrees through to
vertical. Usually vertical or near
- Nesting log / nest-box material:
Decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable
- Who incubates the egg/s:
/ 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 100mm (about 4 inches) from the top. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole
to be just big enough to squeeze through.
More details on
parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of
parrot nestbox/log photos
can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests"
and "parrot nestbox photos"
web pages. Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests"
and "parrot nestbox photos" in
the navigation bars.
Breeding: Egg Colour
White. Clutch/s per year 1, sometimes 2. Eggs per
nest 3 - 5. Incubation
approx. 22 - 24 days. Fledge approx. 6- 7 weeks.
Independent approx. another 4 - 6 weeks.
Generally Malabar parrots are excellent parents. Young can
usually be left with the parents for
up to 6 months.
Best results are obtained if the birds are allowed
to mature fully and first bred at about 2 years of age.
Unsuccessful breeders can be paired up
with another partner next season with minimal problems.
Malabar parrots will usually allow nest
inspections and allow the young to be leg rung.
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.
Health Issues: 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.
References: Refer to references listed on "Book References"
- Australian Aviculture
- Australian Birdkeeper
- ABK Vol 18 Issue 7 Feb-Mar 2005 Page 390-395.
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