Blossom-Headed Parakeet (Psittacula roseata)

The Blossom-headed Parakeet (Psittacula roseata) is a parrot which is a resident breeder in northeast India eastwards into Southeast Asia. It undergoes local movements, driven mainly by the availability of the fruit and blossoms which make up its diet.  In these photos which I took near Doi Inthanon, you can see the difference between the male and female.  He has a brighter head with a distinct neck ring and she has a pale lavender head with no neck ring.

IMG_0083a IMG_0055aAlthough the Blossom-headed Parakeet has a fairly large range across South-east Asia, Thailand is by far the easiest country to travel in logistically, especially for people like me who prefer independent travel in a rental car.  After doing my homework, I settled on Doi Inthanon (red dot below) as the best bet to see this bird reliably.



World Parrot Trust





Maybe I should have gone to Vietnam where this beautiful footage of a male Blossom-headed Parakeet was filmed.

Blossom-Headed Parakeet Conservation Area Near Doi Inthanon

The Blossom-Headed Parakeet Conservation Area is a few km before you reach the gate for Doi Inthanon.  If you pick up a car at Chiang Mai airport it will be about a 2 hour drive or a bit less.  You will see the turn-off on the right hand side of the road and it’s the same road that leads to TouchStar Resort and Inthanon Highland Resort.  There is a map on the Thai Birding site.


Turn down this road.

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We tried two different areas.  The road on the left as indicated by the sign leads to a couple farms but no one around to explain anything about the parakeets.  The Thai Birding map tells you to keep going down the road on the right as shown here.


Don’t turn left at the first shelter, it leads to a private home.

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This is the correct “shelter with corrugated iron roof”.  Drive past it a couple hundred metres and watch the trees on the left.

IMG_0046 IMG_0048 IMG_0049Find a place to park and keep your eyes out.  The parakeets started arriving around 4:30pm.  Unfortunately they perched fairly far from the road where you can park.  The land between the road and the trees is private property and I didn’t want to trespass on it.  So I used every bit of my 400mm lens for these shots!

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A few other birds can be found there too – mostly bulbuls, sparrows, swallows and doves.  There were a couple Bee-eaters just before entering the area.

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IMG_9873 IMG_9880After visiting Doi Inthanon NP, we went back the 2nd evening hoping for better views.  The birds were still far away but the light was somewhat better.

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We went back to the road that goes left to the “sanctuary” and still not a bird in sight.  It looks like someone is leaving food for them or that could just be a Spirit House offering but still no humans around to ask.

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And another beautiful sunset to end the 2nd day.

IMG_0123For some reason I can’t crop in the WordPress package so these are out of sequence but at least you can see the birds a bit better!  The females have a lavender head and only a hint of a ring.  The males have a brighter magenta “blossom” head and a clearly defined ring around their necks.

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