[P. alexandri: Moustached parakeet]
[P. calthorpae: Emerald-collared parakeet]
[P. caniceps: Blyth's parakeet]
[P. columboides: Malabar parakeet]
[P. cyanocephala: Plumheaded parakeet]
[P. derbyana: Derbyan parakeet]
[P. echo: Mauritius parakeet]
[P. eupatria: Alexandrine parakeet]
[P. exsul: Newton's parakeet]
[P. himalayana: Slatyheaded parakeet]
[P. intermedia: Intermediar parakeet]
[P. krameri: Ringnecked parakeet]
 [P. roseata: Blossomheaded parakeet][P. wardi: Seychelles parakeet] 

Psittacula longicauda [Boddaert 1783]

Long-tailed Parakeet

1. Psittacula longicauda longicauda (Boddaert 1783)

Long-tailed Parakeet

Description: General plumage green; throat, breast and abdomen greenish-yellow; lores bluish-black; crown darker green; sides to head and nape rose-red; black stripe to cheeks; upper back yellowish washed bluish-grey; lower back pale blue; under wing-coverts yellowish; upper and under tail-coverts as well as thighs pale green; middle tail-feathers blue with pale tips, outer feathers green; upper mandible red, lower brownish-black; iris whitish-yellow; feet grey.

Hen with green nape; stripe to cheeks dark green; upper cheeks dull orange-red; tail-feathers much shorter; upper and lower mandible brownish-black.

Immatures with green head variably interspersed with orange-red; lower back on young cocks already with bluish tinge; tail-feathers shorter; upper and lower mandible brown; some young cocks with reddish tinge to upper mandible; adult plumage attained by approx. 30 months.

Length: 42 cm, wing length 142 - 155 mm, tail length 154 - 270 mm.

Distribution: Malaysia South of Kedah, Singapore, Borneo, Sumatra, Indonesian island of Nias as well as Bangka and Anambas Islands.

2. Psittacula longicauda modesta (Fraser 1845)

Red-collared Long-tailed Parakeet

Description: As longicauda, but crown with reddish base and green edging to end of feathers, becoming pink on back of head and nape; because of this crown appears more brownish than green in many birds; black stripe to lores more clearly defined continuing in some birds to form narrow band to forehead; rose-red to upper cheeks deeper with orange-red streaking; much larger, but with shorter tail.

Hen and immatures as nominate type, but crown and back of head greenish-brown; ear-coverts edged with narrow greenish-blue band; cheeks deeper red.

Length: 48 cm, wing length 192 - 208 mm, tail length 180 - 231 mm.

Distribution: Island of Enggano, Indonesia.

3. Psittacula longicauda nicobarica (Gould 1857)

Nicobar Long-tailed Parakeet

Description: As longicauda, but back of head, nape and back greenish-yellow and faintly washed with pale blue; ear-coverts and cheeks deeper red; lower back green; larger.

Hen and immatures as nominate type, but cheeks duller red; larger.

Length: 48 cm, wing length 190 - 206 mm, tail length 197 - 275 mm.

Distribution: Nicobar Islands.

4. Psittacula longicauda tytleri (Hume 1874)

Andaman Long-tailed Parakeet

Description: As longicauda, but back of head, nape and back yellowish-green washed with greyish-mauve; throat, breast and upper breast with pale bluish tinge; lower back green; larger.

Hen and immatures as nominate type, but cheeks duller red; larger.

Length: 44 cm, wing length 166 - 182 mm, tail length 160 - 249 mm.

Distribution: Andaman Islands.

5. Psittacula longicauda defontainei (Chasen 1934)

Natuna Long-tailed Parakeet

Description: As longicauda, but rose-red to sides of head deeper with orange-red streaks; crown slightly more yellowish.

Hen and immatures as nominate type, but cheeks likewise deeper red and crown more yellowish.

Length: 42 cm, wing length 148 - 165 mm, tail length 196 - 251 mm.

Distribution: Natuna and Riau Islands as well as Islands of Bintan, Belitung and Karimata, Indonesia.


1.Psittacula l. longicauda Cock
Photo: Z. Rana

2.Psittacula l. modesta Cock
Photo: Dr. G. Sare

3.Psittacula l. nicobarica Cock
Photo: W. Williams

4.Psittacula l. tytleri Cock
Photo: M. Riffel

5.Psittacula l. defontainei Cock
Photo: Z. Rana
Psittacula l. longicauda
Psittacula l. modesta
Psittacula l. nicobarica
Psittacula l. tytleri
Psittacula l. defontainei
  


Habitat:
Forest, swamps and mangrove areas, edges of rain forest, secondary forest, partly cleared areas and oil palm plantations; visits suburban gardens with tall trees.

Status: Common in appropriate habitat.

Behaviour: Usually in groups of up to 20 birds; in localities gatherings of 800 or more birds; apparently nomadic; probably also seasonal migrations; occasionally found on feeding trees with Blue-rumped Parrot (Psittinus cyanurus); restless and constantly on move; climbs quickly around in branches briefly before flying to next tree; conspicuous because of continuous screeching; feeds soon after sunrise; found during day in tall trees; in late afternoon resumes foraging before flying to roosting trees; there mostly large gatherings; flight swift and direct; groups mainly fly just above treetops.

Call: Rapidly repeated shrill cries during flight.

Natural diet: Fruits (Pandanus, Carica papaya, Dryobalan-ops sp.), seeds, flowers (Acacia) and leaf buds; causes considerable damage to oil palm plantations in some areas.

Nesting: Breeding season from February to July; mostly nests in hollow branches or holes in dead trees; only very occasionally in living trees; in one case 10 m from ground; during courtship display cock bows before hen, making regurgitating and circular movements with head and touching bill of hen; finally latter fed before mating; nest lined with pieces of bark and chewed wood; clutch 2 to 3 eggs; no further details available; egg measures 30.6 x 24.7 mm.

Aviculture: Medium-noisy parakeet; can also be noisy; initially very shy; only becomes confiding slowly; newly imported birds susceptible and difficult to acclimatise; sudden mortalities without discernible cause; possibly results from stress; delicate even when acclimatised; the difficulty is to keep the birds alive in aviculture; susceptible to disturbance; then occasionally refuses to feed; active only in spacious aviaries; does not bath often, but will perch in rain in outside flight; enjoys gnawing fresh twigs; does not always harmonise with partner if not chosen; occasionally aggressive to each other; susceptible to cold, wet conditions.

Accommodation: Outside flight 3 x 1 x 2 m with adjoining inside area; aviary can be planted; minimum temperature 10°C; not less than 24°C during acclimatisation period; place aviary in quiet sheltered location and provide roosting box 22 x 22 x 60 cm.

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

Clucth: 2 - 4 eggs.

Incubation: 23 days.

Breeding: Only rarely achieved; it is very difficult to keep the young birds alive; clutch 2 to 4 eggs; clutch laid at daily intervals; incubation 23 days; fledging period 7 weeks; young independent after 14 days; hen occasionally aggressive to cock.

Mutations: Lutino Long-tailed parakeets have been seen in the wild. A few birds are available with some different plumage colours. Probably mutations, but not for sure now.



Psittacula l. longicauda Cock
Photo: Z. Rana

Psittacula l. longicauda Cock and Hen
Photo: Z. Rana

Psittacula l. longicauda Hen
Photo: Z. Rana
[P. alexandri: Moustached parakeet]
[P. calthorpae: Emerald-collared parakeet]
[P. caniceps: Blyth's parakeet]
[P. columboides: Malabar parakeet]
[P. cyanocephala: Plumheaded parakeet]
[P. derbyana: Derbyan parakeet]
[P. echo: Mauritius parakeet]
[P. eupatria: Alexandrine parakeet]
[P. exsul: Newton's parakeet]
[P. himalayana: Slatyheaded parakeet]
[P. intermedia: Intermediar parakeet]
[P. krameri: Ringnecked parakeet]
 [P. roseata: Blossomheaded parakeet][P. wardi: Seychelles parakeet] 

All photographs are copyrighted by their respective owners.
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