. plum headed parrot
Remington Insurance Brokers P/L
Ballarat East, Victoria.
Remington Insurance Brokers P/L specialise in
Aviary bird insurance
Ph (03) 5331 7341
- An Asiatic Parrot
(Click on photos to enlarge)
- Scientific Name: Psittacula
- Common Name/s: PLUM
- Sub Species in country / area of origin:
- 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
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
- Age To Sexual Maturity: About
- Adult plumage: attained at about
- Best breeding years (estimate): 3
years till about 12 or more years. May breed for up to 15
- Lifespan (estimate): approx. 15
- 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.
- Length: Approx. 330 - 350 mm (or approx. 13.5
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
photos top right above.
(Click on above photos to enlarge)
- 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.
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.
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
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
/ 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
hole approx. 60 - 70 mm (or approx. 2.5 - 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 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.
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
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.
References: Refer to references listed on "Book 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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