Plum-headed Parakeet
Psittacula cyanocephala

Cotorra cabeciazul

Between 33–37 cm. in length and weighing between 56-85 grams.

The Plum-headed Parakeet or Plum headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala) has the forecrown, lores, cheeks and ear-coverts bright red malva, fading to blue on lower cheeks, the crown and back neck, with black stripe “mustache” forming a collar black narrow, then bordered by a wide swath of pale green.

Mantle, back and scapulars dark green; rump and uppertail-coverts bright blue green.
Upperwing-coverts smaller and medium bright green with brown patch in the minors; greater coverts and alula darker and duller.
The primaries and secondaries dark green. Underwing-coverts bluish green, underparts brighter yellowish green. Upper, the tail bright color in the center, with white tips, slightly spatulate, outer feathers brighter yellowish green.

The Upper mandible orange-yellow, and the lower beak blackish, but pale flesh at chin; irises yellowish white; legs greenish-grey.

Head of the female grey-blue, in the beige throat and the sides of the neck, without black markings or maroon on wing-coverts; bill paler, tail somewhat shorter.

The greenish head of the immature sometimes tinged with gray; central feathers tail shorter.

The females reach adult plumage to 15 months; young male reach full adult plumage to 30 months.

  • Sound of the Plum-headed Parakeet.
[audio:HTTPS:// Ciruela.mp3]


Preferred habitat Plum-headed Parakeet They are the mosaic of forests and farmland in the plains and hills, including rainforests deciduous, sal forest (Shorea) and subtropical Pine (Pinus roxburghii), usually below the 500 meters in the north of the range, but locally 1.500 m.

Move small flocks, although larger congregations are formed in places where food is abundant, particularly during ripening crop, and also, loudly, in communal roosts with bamboo thickets or other dense vegetation.

Mixed flocks foraging in company Malabar Parakeet and Slaty-headed Parakeet.


The Plum-headed Parakeet nests in holes in the trunk or hamstring, sometimes in an old nest extended “Woody Woodpecker” or “bearded”. In Pakistan, Tall Pines (Pinus roxburgii), dead or dying, They are favorite nesting.

The nest chamber no liner except wood shavings produced during construction. Often reproduced in loose colonies. The male defends the nest site from other species (as the Rose-ringed Parakeet) for a few weeks before breeding. The female incubates alone. The breeding season It, mainly, in the months of December / January April; occasionally also in July-August Sri Lanka.

The laying is of 4-5 eggs, rarely 6.


Registered foods include flowering shrubs (Justicia adhatoda) and wild Granada (Punica granatum), nectar Salmalia, flowers Butea and Bassia, grains, including the sorghum and the maize, fig and apricot fruit, red peppers and chard seeds (Echinops and Cnicus). Preference for bamboo seeds in the Bandhavgarh National Park, sometimes destructive to crops.

Possibly frugívoras than their counterparts, preferring smaller seeds.


Size of the area of distribution (reproduction / resident) 2,780,000 km2

The Plum-headed Parakeet They live in low-lying hills Himalaya, from the North-East of Pakistan through Nepal, Bhutan and West Bengal and through substantially the entire India and Sri Irinka, besides the Islas Rameswaram.

Generally frequents though, apparently, reducing its population Sri Lanka due to loss of habitat, making birds now, to a large extent, they are absent in the lowlands. It has also reduced its population in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal.

Resident, but locally nomadic outside the breeding season, in response to the food supply; more predictable seasonal movements in some areas.


• Current red list of UICN: Least concern

• Population trend: Decreasing

The Intermediate Parakeet (Psittacula intermedia) (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) It is now considered a hybrid between Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala) and Slaty-headed Parakeet (Psittacula himalayana) (Rasmussen and Collar (1999))

The size of the world population Plum-headed Parakeet It has not been quantified, but the species, According to information, it is enough common in Nepal and in general, common in India (pit et to the. 1997).

Its population is suspected to be in decline due to ongoing habitat destruction.

Blue-headed parrot in captivity:

Large captive population. Although this species is not exploited as much as sympatric (in the same geographic region) Alexandrine Parakeet, trade takes its toll on local populations across the range.

They are birds Smart and many can learn to speak, but not as easily as other larger parrots.

Most of the Plum-headed Parakeet enjoy being close to your caregiver, However, They do not like caresses.

They tend to be timid at the beginning; However, with the time, patience and daily interaction, They do become docile bird quite easily.

These tend to be parrots assets in an aviary environment and can become apathetic in an environment of cage. Their preferred environment should be an aviary, or an environment that allows them to travel and move freely in a safe environment.

In a communal aviary, usually they get along with other birds – However, You can be assertive with larger birds.

Unlike the rest of psittaculas, They are not very vocal and vocalizations, especially male, usually quite melodious.

It is not a difficult species create. Unlike many parrots, the-headed Parrot your partner do not bind for life.

With regard to its longevity, According to sources, a specimen lived for 18,8 years in captivity. The maximum longevity may be underestimated in this species. In captivity, estos animales pueden criar, approximately, to the 2 years of age.

Alternative names:

Plum-headed Parakeet, Blossom-headed Parakeet, Plum headed Parakeet (English).
Perruche à tête prune, Perruche à tête de prune (French).
Pflaumenkopfsittich, Plaumenkopfsittich (German).
Periquito-cabeça-de-ameixa (Portuguese).
Cotorra cabeciazul, Cotorra Ciruela, Cotorra de Cabeza Azul (Spanish).

Carl Linnaeus
Carl Linnaeus

Scientific classification:

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittaculidae
Genus: Psittacula
Scientific name: Psittacula cyanocephala
Citation: (Linnaeus, 1766)
Protonimo: Psittacus cyanocephalus

Plum-headed Parakeet Images:


Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala)


– Parrots of the World – Forshaw Joseph M
– Parrots A Guide to the Parrots of the World – Tony Juniper & Mike Parr


(1) – Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala) at Bogazici Zoo, By Nevit Dilmen Turkey (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(2) – Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala) at the mini zoo, Kapparis. Standing on a nesting box in a cage By Glen Bowman (originally posted to Flickr as Cyprus-162) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(3) – Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala) male in flight Location: Thattekad, Kerala, India By Lip Kee Yap [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(4) – An adult female Plum-headed Parakeet at Flying High Bird Sanctuary, Apple Tree Creek, Queensland, Australia By paulgear (Picasa Web Ablums) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(5) – plum-headed parakeet – Psittacula cyanocephala by Dhruvaraj S – Flickr

Sounds: Conrad Pinto (Xeno-canto)

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