Moustached Parrot
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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    Moustached parrot photo
  • An Asiatic Parrot                                                                (Click on photo to enlarge)
  • Scientific Name:  Psittacula alexandri fasciata (Sub-species most commonly bred in Australian aviaries)
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  8
  • Origin / Distribution:  Asia.
  • Habitat In Wild:  Deciduous and bamboo forests.  Will eat crops such as rice.
  • Status In Wild:  Declining due to loss of suitable habitat.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Secure, but not common.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  ?
  • Adult plumage: Adult plumage start at about 12 months, full adult plumage attained at about 18 months.
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  ?
  • Lifespan (estimate):  approx. 15 or more years. They are long lived and 20 years is not unreasonable.
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic.  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.  Best housed one pair per aviary.  Generally are excellent parents.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $700
  • Description Of Adults:  Plum headed and Moustached parrot are the smallest of the Asiatic parrots.
  1. Length: Approx. 330 - 380mm (or approx. 13 - 15 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo of pair - top right of page (Click on photo to enlarge).
  3. Weight: Approx. 150 - 160 gms (or approx.  5.5 ozs)
Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

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.

Moustached parrots require a strong metal framed aviary.  They need an aviary of about 4 - 5 metres long.  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.

Moustached parrots prefer not to feed on the ground and like to feed from a platform about 1 metre above the ground.

Natural diet includes seeds, fruits, berries, nuts, buds and blossoms, and if available, will forage in rice crops.  Insects or insect larvae may form part of their normal food intake.

Basic seed mix of grey sunflower, budgie mix and oats.  Many fruits, vegetables, greens, seeding grasses and other seeds as well as parrot pellets and dry dog food can be offered.  Corn-on-the-cob is commonly fed.   Some consume insects such as mealworms, especially around breeding time.  Calcium supplies such as cuttlefish, shell grit, crushed oyster shell or calcium blocks should always be available.  A supply of grit should be available, useful in assisting digestion of grains.  They love chewing on branches.

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:
  • Log / Nest-box
    • Length / depth 500 - 600 mm (or approx. 20 - 24 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 180 - 200mm. (or approx. 7 - 8 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 150 - 200 mm square (or approx. 6 - 8 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. 75 - 80 mm (or approx. 3 - 3.5 inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100 mm (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.
  • 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 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.  Eggs per nest  3 - 4.  Incubation approx. 24 - 28 days.  Fledge approx.  6 - 7 weeks.  Independent approx. another 5 - 6 weeks.

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.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol 57 No. 4 Apr 2003 Page 84-86.
  • Australian Birdkeeper

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