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.

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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.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS PARROT

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

VIDEO

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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Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot (Loriculus beryllinus)

The Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot is a small, mainly green hanging parrot, only 13 cm long with a short tail.  Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot is less gregarious than some of its relatives, and is usually alone or in small groups outside the breeding season. Its flight is swift and direct, and the call is a sharp whistled twiwittwit..twitwitwit. It undergoes local movements, driven mainly by the availability of the fruit, seeds, buds and blossoms that make up its diet.  In Sri Lanka, this bird is known as Gira Maliththa or Pol Girwa in Sinhala Language.

I couldn’t get a good shot because of backlighting from the sun so here’s the Wikipedia one followed by a few of my attempts to catch this beautiful bird in flight and perched near Kithulgala.

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IMG_3338a IMG_3343 IMG_3344a IMG_3349aThey are endemic to Sri Lanka and most easily seen around the town of Kithulgala.  See the red dot below.  Use a Central Asian award to get to Colombo, then take a taxi or bus.