Long-tailed Parakeet
Psittacula longicauda

Cotorra Colilarga

Of 40 - 48 cm.. length and 168 - 196 g. of weight.

Ilustración Cotorra Colilarga

The Long-tailed Parakeet (Psittacula longicauda) has the plumage, in general, green. The throat, the chest and the abdomen are greenish-yellow; and lores (the regions between the eyes and the beak, on both sides of the head) are bluish-black. The crown is a green dark, and the sides of the head and nape are pinkish Red. They have a black stripe in the cheeks.

The upperparts is yellowish wash of blue-grey. The lower part of the back is pale-blue. The upperwing-coverts are yellowish. The supracaudales-coverts and infracaudales, as well as the the thighs are pale green. The central feathers of the tail are blue with pale tips and outer feathers are green.

The bill top is red and the lower beak is brown-black color. The irises they are amarillos-blanquecinos, and legs are grey.

The females they have the nape green. The band to their cheeks is dark green, and cheeks superiors are an orange-red live. Their feathers of the tail they are much shorter, and the bill top and bottom are brown-black color.

The young birds they have the head variable green interspersed with orange-red. The feathers of the tail they are shorter, and both the bill top and bottom are brown.

The young male they have a tint blue in the lower part of the back and some birds can have a reddish tint in the bill top.

Immature birds reach your adult plumage When they are near the 30 months of age.

The lutino and other colorations, It is believed that they are mutations observed both in the wild and in captivity.

  • Sound of the Long-tailed Parakeet.
[audio:HTTPS://www.mascotarios.org/wp-content/themes/imageless_gray_beauty/sonidos/Cotorra Colilarga.mp3]
Subspecies description:
  • Psittacula longicauda defontainei

    (Chasen, 1935) – Of an average length of 42 cm.. As the species nominal but but the pinkish red from the sides of the head It is deep orange-red-streaked.

  • Psittacula longicauda longicauda

    (Boddaert, 1783) – The species nominal

  • Psittacula longicauda modesta

    (Fraser, 1845) – Of 48 cm.. Plumage as of the species nominal, but the crown It has a reddish-brown core and a green at the end of feather edging, becoming pink on the back of the head and nape, causing so in the crown more Brown than green appears in many birds . The black stripe in the lores is more clearly defined, continuing in some birds to form a narrow band in the forecrown. The upper cheeks they have a deep pinkish-Red, orange-red stripes.

  • Psittacula longicauda nicobarica

    (Gould, 1857) – Of 48 cm.. As the species nominal, but the back of the head, the nape and back are greenish-yellow and slightly washed with pale blue. The ear-coverts and cheeks are deep red. The lower part of the back is green.

  • Psittacula longicauda tytleri

    (Hume, 1874) – Of 44 cm.. length. As the species nominal But back in the head, the nape and back are yellowish green washed with grisaceo-malva. The throat, the chest and the top chest they have a pale bluish tint. The lower part of the back is green.


The Long-tailed Parakeet distributed over all types of lowland (below 300 metres in Sumatra), Evergreen from mangrove forests, swamps, tropical forests, to plantations of oil palm plantations (Elaeis) and coconut trees. It prefers the edges of high forest, especially with large dead trees, including close cultivated areas.

Visit parks and gardens on the Islands Nicobar Islands.


Flocks of thousands of birds reported in the Islands Andaman and Borneo but smaller groups (minor's 20) they are typically, especially during breeding. They form mixed flocks with the Blue-rumped Parrot (Psittinus cyanurus) in Kalimantan.

The Long-tailed Parakeet It is a restless bird that are constantly in motion. They fly quickly around branches, moving quickly from a tree to another. Although they are usually well camouflaged in green foliage, its continuous chirp betrays its position. They tend to eat little after the sunrise and resume the search for food in the evening.


The Long-tailed Parakeet nests in tree cavities, usually dead, often to a considerable height (for example, reported nest in a tree of the species Koompassia in Sumatra - 45 meters above sea level); in the Andaman Islands they commonly nest in trees of the species Pterocarpus marsupium; in the Nicobar Islands sometimes in Pandanus, some 4 meters above ground and in larger trees to 10 metres in height.

Breeds in colonies.

The nest It is full of pieces of bark and chewed wood. In the natural habitat, the average clutch consists of 2 - 3 eggs, each one measures 30,6 x 24,7 mm.

During the courtship, the male bows before the female, by spitting up, circular motions with his head and gently touching its beak.

The breeding It is between the months of December-February, Although pigeons have been observed in July in the Malay Peninsula; Feb-Mar in the Nicobar Islands and Andaman. Reports of eggs in July sunsets in Sumatra.


The nominal species diet includes plants from Borneo camphor (Dryobalanops sumatrensis) and fruit of the Dillenia; the subspecies nicobarica largely feeds on fruits as the papaya (Carica papaya) and Pandanus; occasionally feed on the outer cover of the betel nuts (Areca catechu). On the other hand, They assail orchards and fruit plantations to feed, for example, of the oil palm plantations Elaeis, grains and seeds, and they can have an important impact in the fields of ripening rice (for example in the Islas Andaman) and fruit of the oil palm plantations (for example in the Malay Peninsula).

Insects and their larvae can also be part of your daily diet; If these parrots seek them actively unknown, but they may be ingested ,probably, While they feed on fruits and flowers.


Size of the area of distribution (reproduction / resident): 877.000 km2

The Long-tailed Parakeet distributed by the islands of the Bay of Bengal until Borneo. The range goes from the Coco Islands and Andaman Islands and Nicobar Islands (India) through Sumatra (including the Enggano Islands, Nias, BANGKA and Belitung), South of Malay Peninsula from Sungei Patani (approximately 6° N) - Singapore, Riau archipelago and Bintan, to the East, through the Anambas Islands and up Borneo including Natuna and Karimata Islands.

Resident and common in the Andaman Islands and Coconut.

On the Islands Nicobar Islands described in the century 19 as “excessively abundant ‘, but with few details today.

Resident on Malay Peninsula, but possibly passage migrant in Singapore.

You can display migratory movements in Sumatra, where probably is the decrease due to the loss in the lowlands of the primary tropical forest.

Unevenly distributed in Borneo, and in Kalimantan the numbers fluctuate through little-known seasonal movements.

Resident local in Sabah. Most common in the coastal districts of Sumatra and Borneo.

Usually unpredictable appearances, being abundant in a locality for a period and on the contrary, absent for years.

Distribution of subspecies:


• Current red list of UICN: Near-threatened

• Population trend: Decreasing

The size of the world population Long-tailed Parakeet It has not been quantified, but the species is described as very common and widespread in the South of Borneo, locally common in Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia and common in Brunei, the Andaman Islands and Nicobar Islands (pit et to the. 1997).

The destruction of forests in the lowlands of Sundaland in Indonesia, as well as in Thailand and Malaysia It has been wide (Kalimantan almost lost the 25% its perennial forest during 1985 - 1.997, and Sumatra almost lost the 30% your coverage 1985), Even so, the species is still numerous in a number of areas, due to its ability to forage away from forested areas and nest communally. Therefore, the decrease is estimated to have been of the order of 20 - 30% in the last ten years.

Conservation Actions Underway:

    – CITES Appendix II.

Conservation Actions Proposed:

    – Monitor the species in trade.

    – Monitor habitat trends and rates of deforestation in the lowlands of Sundaland using satellite imagery and remote sensing.

    – The ecology of the species research to improve the understanding of movements performed.

    – Effectively protect significant areas of habitat at key sites, both strictly protected areas and areas of multiple use.

Cotorra colilarga in captivity:

Rare in captivity, its mortality rate is high and breeding successes are rare.

It is a bird very noisy. It is a principle very timid and slow to get your confidence. They don't bathe often, Although they occasionally sit in the rain. They enjoy gnawing fresh branches. The main problems for its captive breeding are the difficulty of matching compatible couples; the Long-tailed Parakeet they tend not to accept a partner that they have not chosen and even if you are breeding pairs, It is very difficult to keep alive the chicks. Sudden deaths no apparent cause they have been reported – possibly as a result of stress.

Some birds may refuse to eat. Have been observed Occasional attacks of females to males, coming to Peck them on the penis, causing them serious injury. In addition, These delicate parrots are hard to acclimatize. Newly imported birds are susceptible to the cold and wet conditions. During the period of acclimatization, should not be exposed to temperatures below to 24 ° C at any time below 10 ° C.

Given that these parrots are so rare, experts prefer well managed breeding programs the possibility of keeping them captive in private hands.

The size of the clutch average consists of 2 – 4 eggs laid at daily intervals, with an incubation which lasts approximately 23 days. The young leave the nest 7 weeks after hatching and are independent 2 weeks later.

The Long-tailed Parakeet, in any case, you will need a large aviary which is a very active bird and will need plenty of room to move.
It is important to place the bird in a quiet and protected, as well as providing a rest box (22 x 22 x 60 cm.) at all times.

Alternative names:

Long-tailed Parakeet, Long tailed Parakeet, Malaccan Red-cheeked Parakeet, Malayan Red-cheeked Parakeet, Pink-cheeked Parakeet, Red-cheeked Parakeet (English).
Perruche à longs brins, Perruche de Malacca (French).
Langschwanzsittich (German).
Periquito-mustache-cauda-longa (Portuguese).
Cotorra Colilarga, Cotorra de Cola Larga (Spanish).

Pieter Boddaert
Pieter Boddaert

Scientific classification:

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittaculidae
Genus: Psittacula
Scientific name: Psittacula longicauda
Citation: (Boddaert, 1783)
Protonimo: Psittacus longicauda

Long-tailed Parakeet Images:


Long-tailed Parakeet (Psittacula longicauda)


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


(1) – A male warning juvenile to keep away from the food while he is there in Queenstown, Singapore By Lip Kee Yap [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(2) – A female in Queenstown, Central Singapore on 2 December 2005 By Lip Kee Yap [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(3) – feeding in Queenstown, Singapore on 2 December 2005 By Lip Kee Yap [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(4) – A juvenile in Queenstown, Central Singapore on 2 December 2005 By Lip Kee Yap [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(5) – Long-tailed Parakeets at the Botanic Gardens, Singapore By Lip Kee Yap [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(6) – Long-tailed Parakeet, adult male Joseph Wolf [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sounds: Mathias Ritschard (Xeno-canto)

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