Layard's parakeet

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Layard's parakeet
Psittacula calthropae -Sri Lanka -eating fruit-8.jpg
Female eating fruit in Sri Lanka
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Genus: Psittacula
Species: P. calthrapae
Binomial name
Psittacula calthrapae
Blyth, 1849

The Layard's parakeet (Psittacula calthrapae) is a parrot which is a resident endemic breeder in Sri Lanka. The common name of this bird commemorates the British naturalist Edgar Leopold Layard; his first wife, Barbara Anne Calthrop, whom he married in 1845, is commemorated in the specific epithet.



Layard's parakeet is a green parrot, 29 cm long including a tail up to 13 cm. The adult has a bluish-grey head and back, separated by a green collar. There is a broad black chin stripe and the tail is blue tipped yellow. The upper mandible of the male's bill is red and the lower mandible is brown.

The female is similar, but has an all black beak and less green on the face than the male. Immature birds are mainly green, with an orange bill.[2]


Layard's parakeet is a bird of forests, particularly at the edges and in clearings, and also gardens. It is locally common. It undergoes local movements, driven mainly by the availability of the fruit, seeds, buds and blossoms that make up its diet. It is less gregarious than some of its relatives, and is usually in small groups outside the breeding season, when it often feeds with brahminy starlings. Its flight is swift and direct, and the call is a raucous chattering. It nests in holes in large trees, laying 3–4 white eggs.

In culture

In Sri Lanka, this bird is knowns as alu girawa අළු ගිරවා (ash-parrot) in Sinhala Language.[3] This bird appears on a 50c Sri Lankan postal stamp.[4] Also this bird appears in 500 Sri Lankan rupee bank note (2010 series).[5]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Psittacula calthrapae". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Forshaw (2006). plate 39.
  3. ^ Anonymous (1998). "Vernacular Names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent" (PDF). Buceros. 3 (1): 53–109. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-04-01. 
  4. ^ Scharning, Kjell. "Birds on stamps: Sri Lanka". 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]


Cited texts

External links

  • World Parrot Trust Parrot Encyclopedia – Species Profiles
  • Oriental Bird Images: Layard's parakeet (selected photos)
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