Plum-Headed Parakeet – Description, Care, and History

Plum-headed Parakeet

The plum-headed parakeet is a very beautiful medium-sized bird. This Asian parrot is a nice pet since it is and possessive than some other parrot species, and it gets along with others cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval cheval Although it requires less time from its owner than many other parrots, it still need frequent interaction to be socialized.

Species Overview

Common Names: Plum-headed parakeet, plum-headed parrot

Scientific Name: Psittacula cyanocephala

Adult Size: 12 inches, weighing 2.3 to 2.8 ounces

Life Expectancy: 15 and 20 years, although many can live 30 years or more with proper care

Origin and History

India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh are home to plumed parakeets. They flourish in wooded settings and forests, where they make trees their home. Pet plum-headed parakeets have been known to establish tiny breeding colonies in a range of regions across the world.

A variation of this species, the so-called intermediate parakeet (Psittacula intermedia), is thought to be a hybrid between the plum-headed and the slaty-headed parakeet. 

Although wild numbers of this bird are gradually dwindling due to habitat loss, plum-headed parakeets still thrive and are not threatened by extinction. 


With their owners, plum-headed parakeets are typically polite, gregarious, and friendly birds, however they might be wary of outsiders. Because they are quite quiet for a parrot, they may be the best choice for bird owners who live in flats or other close quarters.

Plum-headed parakeets can grow highly docile and form deep bonds with their owners if they are hand-fed as newborns. This bird requires less time from its owner than many other parrots. Regular interaction, however, is still required to preserve human connection.

Those who are unfamiliar with Psittacula species should be aware that many of these birds will go through a bluffing phase throughout their youth. This stage is solely hormonal in nature and has no bearing on the bird's personality after it reaches adulthood. Birds that are on a daily basis tend to become tame and form strong bonds with their owners.

Speech and Vocalizations

Many of these birds, particularly the males, are excellent communicators. If an owner is ready to converse to the bird on a daily basis, the chattering that begins around 6 to 8 months of age may quickly give place to intelligible imitation. Speech is not a universal ability, and some birds will never develop it.

Plum-Headed Parakeet Colors and Markings

Because plum-headed parakeets are dimorphic, adult males and females may be distinguished by color variations in their plumage. Both sexes have a mostly green body with different tints on the breast, abdomen, back, and wings. Purplish-red heads are defined by a black ring around the neck on males. Females lack the black neck stripe and have blue-gray feathers on their heads. Instead, many of them wear feathers with a golden tint around their necks.

Caring for the Plum-Headed Parakeet

Because of its long tail, a plum-headed parakeet requires a cage that is rather spacious. A cage with a footprint of 24 inches by 36 inches and a height of 36 inches is the bare minimum. The distance between bars should be no greater than 1/2 inch. Include a distinct play gym within the cage with toys, as well as a separate play gym for workout sessions. If you have a pair of birds, you should provide them a bigger aviary habitat. The plum-headed parrot is one of the few parrots that will successfully cohabit alongside non-competing species such as finches in an aviary environment.

The plum-headed parakeet, like any other parrot, requires some time outside the cage each day, but unlike other, more demanding parrots, it is not a cuddler that requires continual touching and hands-on play. Instead, it will most likely just perch on your shoulder and "chat" with you. However, without this degree of everyday connection, the bird may retreat and become more wild.

Common Health Problems

Plum-headed parakeets are relatively hardy birds, although they can be affected by damp, cold conditions. Some common avian diseases affecting this species include:

  • Polyomavirus, a virus that can skin problems
  • Sarcocystosis, fatal protozoan parasitic disease
  • Aspergillosis, a fungal respiratory disease
  • Bacterial infections that can cause pneumonia
  • Psittacosis, parrot fever caused by the chlamydia bacteria

Diet and Nutrition

This bird eats largely fruit and seeds in the wild. Plum-headed parakeets, like other parrots, thrive in captivity on a diet of high-quality seed and pellet mix supplemented daily with fresh, bird-safe fruits and vegetables. A bird may consume up to one spoonful of food per day.

Experiment with things like sprouts, leafy greens, berries, and even peppers to give these birds a diverse diet. Because birds are unable to detect "spicy hot" tastes as well as humans, many of them love tearing apart chili peppers to get the seeds within.


In the wild, plum-headed parakeets are rather busy birds. These birds require an exercise and play space in captivity. Each day, these birds should be given at least 3 to 4 hours outside the cage in a safe, bird-proofed play space. To avoid accidents and injuries, always keep an eye on this free time. This time of movement and engagement is essential for a plum-headed parakeet's health and socialization.

  • Social, although standoffish with strangers

  • Can be trained to talk

  • Affectionate, although does not like cuddling

  • Requires at least 3 hours of interaction or exercise daily

Where to Adopt or Buy a Plum-Headed Parakeet

Plum-headed parakeets are a popular pet, and orphaned birds may be offered through rescue groups and pet adoption organizations. This bird may be sold at aviary pet stores, but potential owners will most likely need to find a breeder.

This bird's price ranges from $400 to $700. If you're buying from a breeder, make sure they're respectable by asking how long they've been breeding the species. Make sure your bird is awake, active, and displays all of the characteristics of a healthy bird, such as bright eyes, clean feathers, and a full crop.

Rescues, adoption organizations, and breeders where you can find plum-headed parakeets parrots include:

  • Hookbills for Sale
  • Birds Now
  • Adopt a Pet

More Pet Bird Species and Further Research

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