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

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. plum headed parrot
Photos courtesy of:
Remington Insurance Brokers P/L
Ballarat East, Victoria.
Remington Insurance Brokers P/L specialise in
Aviary bird insurance
Ph (03) 5331 7341
    photo of plum headed parrot close up photo of plum headed parrot 
  • An Asiatic Parrot                       (Click on photos to enlarge)
  • Scientific Name: Psittacula cyanocephala cyanocephala
  • Common Name/s: PLUM HEADED PARROT
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin: 2
  • Origin / Distribution: Indian sub-continent and Indo-China.
  • Habitat In Wild: Forested areas and cereal growing and fruit growing farms.
  • Status In Wild: Declining in areas that have been cleared for farming but still common in some forested areas.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Secure.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: About 3 years.
  • Adult plumage: attained at about 30 months
  • Best breeding years (estimate): 3 years till about 12 or more years.  May breed for up to 15 years
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. 15 or more years
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic. Surgical sexing is used for young birds.
  • Colour mutations: Yes, but rare.
  • Availability: Bird dealers.
  • Temperament: Best results with one pair per aviary.  Not to be housed with the Slaty headed parrot or Blossom headed parrot as they may hybridize.  Plum headed parrots maintain good feather condition and present well.  Generally not aggressive to smaller birds.  The Plum headed Parrot is normally a quiet bird.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $300
  • Description Of Adults:  Close up photo shows beautiful "plum" colour on front of head.  Compare above close up photo of "Plum headed parrot" with close up photo of Slaty headed parrot on "Slaty headed parrot" web page.
  1. Length: Approx. 330 - 350 mm (or approx. 13.5 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photos top right above. (Click on above photos to enlarge)
  3. Weight: Approx. 70 - 85 gms (or approx  2.5 - 3 ozs)

Not to be confused with the Blossom headed Parrot. The red wing patch is the main difference along with the Blossom headed Parrot being a slightly smaller bird.

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.

One pair per aviary is best. Generally not destructive of timber.

Minimum aviary length should be about 3000mm, 1000mm wide and 2100mm high (10 x 3.5 x 7 feet).

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.

In the wild the natural diet includes seeds, fruits, wild figs, buds and blossoms, as well as foods foraged from cultivated areas. They will feed in cereal and grain crops.

An aviary diet for the plum headed parrot can include a basic seed mix of grey sunflower, budgie mix and oats.  Many fruits, vegetables, greens, green leafy vegetables, 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.  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: Late July - August.
  • Log / Nest-box
    • Length / depth  500 mm (or approx. 20 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 200 - 250mm. (or approx.  8 - 10 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 200 - 225mm square (or approx. 8 - 9 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. 60 - 70 mm (or approx. 2.5 - 3 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.  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.

Plum headed Parrots usually maintain a clean hygienic nest.

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.

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 - 6.  Incubation approx. 22 - 24 days.  Fledge approx. 7 - 8 weeks.  Independent approx. another 3 weeks.

The hen is usually the dominant bird.  Generally start breeding at about 3 years of age.  New pairs should be introduced to each other several months prior to the start of the breeding season so the birds have plenty of time to establish a strong bond between each other.  A good pair bond will usually result in better breeding results.  The Slaty headed parrot will hybridize with the Plum headed Parrot.

Fledgling Slaty headed and fledgling Plum headed parrots are almost identical so only purchase young birds from a reputable breeder or reputable bird dealer.

The young are often left with the parent birds for a month or more and this will generally not cause any problems as the Plum headed 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.

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.

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 56 No. 9 Sept 2002 Page 185-186 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 48 No. 9 Sept 1994 Page 219-220
  • A/A Vol 39 No. 2 Feb 1985 Page 25-26
  • A/A Vol 30 No. 12 Dec 1976 Page 189-191 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol  3 No 5 May 1949 Page 42.
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol  4 Issue 9. Jun-July 1991 Page 407-411

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