Alexandrine Parakeet (Psittacula eupatria)

The Alexandrine Parakeet or Alexandrian Parrot (Psittacula eupatria) is a member of the psittaciformes order and of the Psittaculidae family. The species is named after Alexander the Great, who is credited (blamed) with the exporting of numerous specimens of this bird from Punjab into various European and Mediterranean countries and regions, where they were considered prized possessions for the nobles and royalty.

IMG_3712a IMG_3650a IMG_3645a IMG_3628a IMG_3626a IMG_3609aThe Alexandrine Parakeet is the largest species of all Parakeet (small Parrot with long tail) species, thus often being the largest Parrot in their native range. This species measures 58 cm (23 in) in total length with a wing length averaging 18.9–21.5 cm (7.5–8.5 in) and a tail length of 21.5–35.5 cm (8.5–14.0 in).

The following sub-species, many of them allopatric are recognised based on geographical distribution:

  • Psittacula eupatria eupatria, Nominate Alexandrine Parakeet – East India to Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh in the South, Sri Lanka.
  • Psittacula eupatria avensis, Indo-Burmese Alexandrine Parakeet – Northeast India to Amherst in Myanmar
  • Psittacula eupatria magnirostris, Andaman Islands’ Alexandrine Parakeet – Andaman Islands
  • Psittacula eupatria nipalensis, Nepalese Alexandrine Parakeet – Eastern Afghanistan, Pakistan, North and central India, Nepal, Bhutan to Assam in Northeast India.
  • Psittacula eupatria siamensis, Laos’ or Siamese Alexandrine Parakeet – Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, north and east Thailand

Of these, I have seen the nominate and the Nepalese subspecies.


Because they have such a large range, you can plan birding trips to Central and South-east Asia and have a good chance to spot them.  I have seen them in Chitwan National Park, Nepal & Kithulgala & Sinharaja in Sri Lanka.



World Parrot Trust



It’s surprisingly hard to find videos of these parrots on Youtube as they are so popular as pets.  At least I found one from Sri Lanka!

Lazy Birding From Rock View Motel Balcony, Sinharaja

After a hard day’s work walking uphill to the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, what could be better than a lazy afternoon kicking back with a cold drink and watching Alexandrine Parakeets and other birds fly past?  And when bird activity dies down, there were still farmers at work and beautiful green fields.  For some reason, it was very hazy.  This will be a lazy pictorial post of my lazy afternoon and the following morning trying to get the best photos I could.

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Lodge Review: Rock View Motel, Weddegala (Sinharaja), Sri Lanka

It was disappointing to arrive at the Rock View Motel after dark but it was my own fault for taking the wrong bus!  Although the map on their website isn’t much better!  You can’t book this lodge through any portals so just email them using the contact on their website.  Rates are pretty reasonable, Double Half Board –  Rs.  8,500.00 and you must pay in cash so be prepared.  Reviews are mixed – yes the rooms are basic but the views more than make up for it!  If you are there for the birds, you will see plenty from the balcony!


When we finally did arrive, the friendly staff had been wondering where we were and showed us quickly to a corner room with a stunning view over the valley.

IMG_3770 IMG_3438 IMG_3439We were starving as we had skipped lunch thinking we would arrive in plenty of time.  They made us dinner pretty quickly and we arranged for the included breakfast to be packed so we could take it with us to Sinharaja the next morning.

IMG_3437A Red-vented Bulbul kept us company while we waited for the rickshaw.

IMG_3440He arrived a couple minutes later and we were off for a day of exploring Sinharaja National Park.


Choosing The Best Lodges For India & Sri Lanka

Yesterday, I showed you how I put together an itinerary for a birding adventure in southern India & Sri Lanka.  Today, I will show you how I chose the accommodation in each place.  In all cases (except Bangalore) I was prioritizing lodges that were located in birdy locations as I love being able to sit on a deck and watch birds any time of day!   Oh yeah, and we were on a tight budget being a somewhat impromptu trip!

I will be doing detailed reviews with photos on each individual lodge in subsequent posts.



The first night, we would be arriving around midnight and getting a bus to Coorg early the next morning.  Bangalore has horrible traffic jams so I wanted to stay as close as possible to the Mysore Satellite Bus Stand.  I used a Google map to zoom in on the bus stand and found the Transit Hotel Mysore Road right across the street.  I Googled the name, saw it bookable on Agoda (unfortunately not on Pointshound) and booked an AC room for a whopping $12!


On a previous visit, I had accompanied some friends to the wonderful SAI Sanctuary and really wanted to stay there.  Unfortunately, their staff had left and they couldn’t accommodate us but they booked us at a guest house just down the road called Jungleside Homestay.  We made a day visit to SAI to visit our friends and watch birds.


I had no idea where to stay so I checked on Expedia since I had a $50 credit in my account.  I found a nice-looking place called Grassroots Wayanad, checked the photos & reviews on Trip Advisor and decided it sounded like my kind of place.  I booked it on Expedia to use the $50 credit.


I was researching the sanctuary online and wanted to stay in their accommodation.  However it seems you can only book it with their office in Ooty or at the facility and they had no email.  I resorted to Google mapping the area and found the nearest town was called Gudalur.  I searched Gudalur on Trip Advisor and found a place called Gouri Farm which sounded good.  They weren’t on any booking sites so I emailed them and booked and they agreed to let me pay on arrival since we were there on a weekday.


We would be arriving in the evening by bus and I have plenty of Club Carlson points so I booked the Park Plaza.


I read a few birding trip reports that highly recommended the Kithulgala Resthouse.  I wanted to book and pay on arrival so I used which was the only booking agency that allowed for this.


Unfortunately this visit fell on a weekend and my first & second choices (Martin’s Simple Lodge & Blue Magpie Lodge) were booked up (according to Sri Lankan travel agency Red Dot) and they tried to get me to book a place for $200 a night that looked lovely but was out of our budget.  I did some researching online and stumbled across a place called Rock View Motel Kalawana which had room so I grabbed it.

Flights and accommodation booked…………………..the journey yet to begin!