Psittacula columboides


Habitat: Evergreen forest and humid montane
forest between 450 m and 1,600 m; occasionally also in humid lowland forest; visits
coffee, tea, rubber and fruit plantations; forages in cultivated areas.

Status: Fairly
common; population decline through habitat loss.

Behaviour:
Usually in small groups of 4 to 5 birds; occasionally
also in small flocks; noisy; mostly noticed because of calling; almost always
found in tops of tall trees; there difficult to detect; only comes down to ground
in grain fields; flight swift and straight; harsh, raucous call differs considerably
from that of Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala), which is also
found in some localities.


Call: Harsh, raucous call differs considerably from that of Plum-headed
Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala)

Natural
diet:
Seeds, fruits (figs), small nuts, berries, leaf
buds, flowers, pollen and nectar; regularly visits Erythrina and Grevillea for
pollen and nectar.

Nesting:
Breeding season from January to March; prefers to nest in tall ironwood trees
(Mesua ferrea); uses old woodpecker and barbet nestholes, which are sometimes
enlarged; nest lined with wood dust and small pieces of wood; clutch 3 to 4 eggs;
egg measures 28.3 x 24.5 mm.

Aviculture:
Medium-noisy parakeet only occasionally noisy; initially shy; becomes confiding
slowly; newly imported bird very susceptible; must be acclimatised carefully;
only active in spacious aviary; communal aviary with other Psittacula species
only possible outside breeding season; bathes little; but enjoys light rain in
outside flight; likes nibbling fresh branches; occasionally aggressive to partner;
sensitive to cold, wet conditions.

Accommodation:
Outside flight 3 x 1 x 2 m with adjoining inside aviary; can be planted; minimum
temperature 10°C, not less than 24°C during acclimatisation; provide
roosting box (22 x 22 x 60 cm).

Diet:
Seed mix of safflower, wild bird food, buckwheat, some sunflower, various millets,
canary grass seed, oats and hemp; millet spray, also sprouted; plenty of fruit
(mango, apple, pear, figs, grapefruit); greenfood and vegetables (carrot, capsicum,
cucumber); eggfood and biscuit for rearing.

Clutch:
3 – 4 eggs.

Incubation:
23 days.

Breeding:
Seldom achieved; clutch 3 to 4 eggs; incubation 23 days;
fledging period 6 weeks; young independent after 21 days; cock occasionally aggressive
towards hen; sometimes sensitive to nestbox inspection.

Mutations:
There are rumors about a Lutino mutation in the Wild.

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