. moustached parrot
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- An Asiatic Parrot
(Click on photo to enlarge)
- Scientific Name: Psittacula
(Sub-species most commonly bred in Australian aviaries)
- Common Name/s: MOUSTACHED PARROT,
RED BREASTED PARAKEET.
- Sub Species in country / area of origin:
- 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
- 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.
- Length: Approx. 330 - 380mm (or approx. 13
- 15 inches)
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
photo of pair - top right of page
(Click on photo to enlarge).
- Weight: Approx. 150 - 160 gms (or approx. 5.5 ozs)
Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist
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
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
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
/ depth 500 - 600 mm (or approx. 20 - 24 inches)
- Log internal
diameter approx. 180 - 200mm. (or approx. 7 - 8
- Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 150 - 200
mm square (or approx. 6 - 8 inches square)
- Diameter of
hole approx. 75 - 80 mm (or approx. 3 - 3.5 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.
- Nesting log / nest-box material:
Decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable
- 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.
References: Refer to references listed on "Book References"
- Australian Aviculture
- A/A Vol 57 No. 4 Apr 2003 Page 84-86.
- Australian Birdkeeper
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