Characteristics and Care of the Alexandrine Parakeet

Alexandrine parakeet

Alexandrine parakeets have been popular as pets for generations, because to their beauty, intelligence, and exceptional communication ability. It was an exotic pet possessed by aristocracy and the elite, and was named after Alexander the Great, who is supposed to have had numerous of these birds. The biggest Asiatic parakeet is this medium-sized bird. It is a friendly bird that prefers to be with one person at a time, creating strong ties with its human caretaker.

Species Overview

Common Names: Alexandrine parakeet, Alexandrine parrot

Scientific Name: Psittacula eupatria; Five subspecies include P. e. eupatria, P. e. nipalensis, P. e. avensis, P. e. magnirostris, P. e. siamensis

Adult Size: Up to 25 inches

Life Expectancy: Up to 40 years

Origin and History

This species originated in India and Sri Lanka. The Alexandrine parakeet lives in forests, woodlands, agricultural lands, and mangrove forests of up to 3,000 feet in elevation.

The bird is named after Alexander the Great, who brought several birds from Punjab to Europe and the Mediterranean. The royals and nobility coveted these birds. Spain, England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Turkey, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, and Hong Kong all have feral populations.

Temperament

Alexandrine parakeets that have been handfed can make loving and devoted pets, albeit they tend to be "one-person" birds. They form a deep attachment to a preferred family member while avoiding others.

During adolescence (ages 4 months to 1 year), many Alexandrine parakeets, like other Asiatic parakeets, go through a hormonal, aggressive bluffing period, which can be difficult for inexperienced bird owners to control. Depending on the bird, this time might extend anywhere from two weeks to two years.

Alexandrine parakeets often adjust into their new home surroundings well with proper socialization and bonding tactics and like interacting with their owners. These bright birds are well-known for being good talkers, making them attractive pets.

Speech and Vocalizations

Because Alexandrine parakeets may be fairly noisy and raucous, they are probably not the best choice for individuals who live in close proximity to their neighbors. Because their strong vocalizations may go a considerable distance in the wild, keeping one in an apartment or condominium might be difficult.

This bird has a remarkable ability to accurately imitate human speech. Ringing noises, loud and deep "klak" sounds, and a thunderous "gr-aak" cry are among the calls of the Alexandrine parakeet. It has deeper sounds than Indian ringneck parakeets, and its warning calls are also louder.

Alexandrine Parakeet Colors and Markings

Alexandrines may grow to be 25 inches long, with their long, exquisite tail feathers accounting for the majority of that length. They have a slimmer build than Indian Ringneck parakeets.

Green coloring with blue-grey cheeks and back of neck, yellow-green belly, red patch on the shoulders, and a huge red beak with yellow ends. The tail is yellow on the underside and green and blue on top, with yellow at the tip.

Alexandrine parakeets are a dimorphic bird species, which means males and females may be distinguished. A black and rose-colored ring is worn by adult guys around their necks. Without the neck rings, females are the same hue.

Caring for an Alexandrine Parakeet

Alexandrine parakeets, known for their beauty, intellect, and exceptional communication abilities, require a lot of room, hours of engagement, and daily supervised out-of-cage time. It can take decades to properly care for this bird.

This bird may be a medium-sized parrot, but it still needs a large cage to accommodate its long tail feathers. At the minimum, provide a cage that is at least 3 feet tall and 2 feet long and wide.

These birds love to bathe frequently and play in the water. Provide a large water bath at least once a week. Your bird might also like an occasional misting.

Common Health Problems

Alexandrine parakeets are relatively healthy birds; however, they are susceptible to several conditions:

  • Polyomavirus: A deadly virus; hatchlings and juveniles are most at risk
  • Psittacosis: Also known as parrot fever, this disease in humans caused by the chlamydia bacteria
  • Aspergillosis:¬†A fungal respiratory infection caused by the aspergillus fungus

Diet and Nutrition

Fresh vegetables, leafy greens, grains, some nutritious seed, tree nuts, and a high-quality, professionally prepared, designed pelleted food work well for most pet Alexandrine parakeets. Fresh veggies are the foundation of a healthy parrot diet.

Every day, feed your bird 1/4 to 1/2 cup pellets and 1/4 to 1/2 cup fruits and vegetables. Depending on your bird's hunger, increase or reduce the quantity. To avoid spoiling, remove any uneaten meals.

Exercise

Alexandrine parakeets have a high level of activity. They require a lot of activity to stay in good physical and emotional shape. These birds would benefit from a spacious flight cage. They require enough room to move about without hurting their long and gorgeous tail feathers.

Outside of their cage, these birds need at least 3 to 4 hours every day to stretch, play, and exercise. Supervised playing should take place in a secure, "bird-proof" environment. Alexandrines are inquisitive creatures that may find themselves into trouble if left alone. Provide plenty of chewable, bird-safe toys for these sophisticated birds who grow bored easily.

Pros
  • Friendly and affectionate

  • Intelligent, can learn to speak

Cons
  • Can be loud, not well-suited for apartments

  • Can become one-person birds and territorial with others

Where to Adopt or Buy an Alexandrine Parakeet

Contact local adoption and rescue groups to determine whether one is right for you, and spend some time with their birds. Examine how the birds interact with their carers and other members of their family.

Alexandrine parakeets can cost from $500 to $1,500. Rescues, adoption organizations, and breeders where you can find Alexandrine parakeets include:

  • Northeast Avian Rescue
  • Bird Breeders
  • Companion Parrots Re-homed

If you're buying from a breeder, ask how long they've been breeding and working with Alexandrine parakeets to ensure they're trustworthy. Make sure the bird you choose to take home is awake, active, and displays all of the characteristics of a healthy bird, such as bright eyes, clean feathers, and full crops.

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