Nicobar Parakeet
Psittacula caniceps

Cotorra de Nicobar

Between 55 and 61 cm.. of length and a weight of 224 g..

The Nicobar Parakeet (Psittacula caniceps) has the crown, upper cheeks and ear-coverts pale grey; stripe black in the region perioftalmica through the lores up to the forecrown; the lower cheeks and the chin are black. Nape and upper mantle pale gray bathed in blue; rest of the upper region green grass pale.

Upperwing-coverts green; primaries and secondaries Green with dark tips. Underwing-coverts green. Underparts green, slightly paler than upper parts. The elongated feathers central tail green with grey tinge, outer green.

Upper mandible coral red, the lower black; cere dark grey; irises orange-red; legs dark gray.

The female has the bill black, the grey of the head and nape more strongly impregnated with blue, and tail slightly shorter.

The immature similar to females.


The Nicobar Parakeet It is difficult to locate visually through the dense foliage, Although its presence is revealed by their distinctive calls. Their flight is fast and direct.

They inhabit in the high rainforest. Generally held among the dense foliage on canopy, about everything when not fully.
They are perhaps most abundant in the coastal forests than inside.
Has also been recorded in areas with plants of Areca catechu and coconut plantations, which suggests a considerable tolerance of the species in habitats modified.
Usually, observed in pairs or in small groups.


Unknown breeding habits.


Unknown diet except for the fruits of Pandanus, abundant in the inhabited islands of the Nicobar archipelago.


Size of the area of distribution (reproduction / resident): 1,100 km2

Endemic of the Nicobar Islands, located in the Indian Ocean and belonging to the India. Registered since Great Nicobar, Montschall and Kondul. Resident. His status is unknown but they are potentially at risk due to habitat loss due to the expansion of rice cultivation; also affected its population because of the bird trade, Although there is little local use of these birds as pets and there are no known international traffic.


• Current red list of UICN: Near threatened

• Population trend: Decreasing

The population of the Nicobar Parakeet It is suspected that It may be waning as a result of the destruction of habitat due to the tsunami of the 2004 (K. Sivakumar in litt. 2007), due to the development of the island, and because the capture for the wild bird trade. However, more research is needed to establish with precision the trends.

Probably between 10,000 – 15,000 specimens on freedom.

The main threats to the Nicobar Parakeet they come by the large number of birds are trapped for the cage bird trade. On the other hand, the increase of settlements on the Islands It has led to increased pressure on natural resources and the planned development projects may seriously affect the habitat of this species. The tsunami of 2004 It destroyed large tracts of coastal forest that may have caused a further decline in the population. However, the data remains scarce, and the rate of regeneration of these forests is unknown (K. Sivakumar in litt., 2007).

Conservation Actions Proposed:

    – Determine the impact of the trade in the species.
    – Calculate the rates of forest loss.
    – Protect remaining habitat areas.
    – Assess the impact of the tsunami of 2004.

Nicobar Parakeet in captivity:

There is not much information available; probably brought to the London Zoo at the beginning of 20th century; kept as pets, in an unknown number, by the local population of the Nicobar Islands

Since the Nicobar Parakeet is a species so rare, It is not recommended to keep them captive, It is preferable to place them in a breeding program well managed by expert hands.

Alternative names:

Nicobar Parakeet, Blyth’s Parakeet (English).
Perruche des Nicobar, Perruche de Blyth (French).
Graukopfsittich (German).
Periquito-de-nicobar (Portuguese).
Cotorra de Nicobar (Spanish).

Edward Blyth
Edward Blyth

Scientific classification:

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittaculidae
Genus: Psittacula
Scientific name: Psittacula caniceps
Citation: (Blyth, 1846)
Protonimo: Palaeornis caniceps


Nicobar Parakeet (Psittacula caniceps)


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


(1) – John Gould [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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