Long-tailed parakeet

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Long-tailed parakeet
Psittacula longicauda (feeding) -Queenstown -Singapore-6.jpg
Pair feeding in Queenstown, Singapore
(the male is in the foreground)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittaculidae
Genus: Psittacula
P. longicauda
Binomial name
Psittacula longicauda
(Boddaert, 1783)

The long-tailed parakeet (Psittacula longicauda) is a parakeet endemic to the regions of Andaman and Nicobar islands, Sumatra, Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia (including Singapore). It is allopatric with the congener, the Red-breasted parakeet, Psittacula alexandri, except in the Andaman islands where they occur together.


Five subspecies, which may represent different species, are currently recognized.

  • P. l. tytleri, the Andaman long-tailed parakeet, occurs on the Andaman and Coco islands.
  • P. l. nicobarica, the Nicobar long-tailed parakeet, is endemic to the Nicobar islands.
  • P. l. longicauda, the common long-tailed parakeet (the nominate subspecies), inhabits Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Nias, Bangka and Borneo.
  • P. l. defontainei inhabits Natuna, Karimata, the Riau archipelago and Belitung.
  • P. l. modesta, the Enggano long-tailed parakeet, is endemic to Enggano.[2]


It is mainly green with a long blue tail. The male has a black cap and red face. The female lacks the black cap and has less red.


The long-tailed parakeet is able to live in a wide variety of habitats such as in swamp forests, lowland evergreen forest, oil palm plantations, coconut plantations, gardens, public parks, and is a frequent visitor to agricultutal areas (especially those who yield tropical fruits and seeds). It is usually seen in elevations of up to 300 meters.[2]

Ecology & Behavior

The long-tailed parakeet is an extremely social bird, always seen communicating with other birds of its species. Even though small groups are usually seen, flocks of thousands of birds have been in the Andaman Islands and Borneo. However, the large flocks tend to appear during breeding season. It is a colony breeder. Birds on the Malay Peninsula tend to breed from December to February while birds on the Nicobar and Andaman Islands tend to breed from February to March. Females tend to lay a clutch of 2 to 4 eggs approximately 30.5 x 24.5mm. It usually takes about 23 to 24 days for the eggs to hatch. Chicks fledge at around 7 weeks old. Its diet consists of a variety of berries, papaya, areca nuts, a wide variety of cultivated and wild fruit, seeds, and cultivated grains such as corn. It is a curious species, as it is often seen playing with sticks or other materials found in its environment.[2]


Much of the long-tailed parakeet's natural habitat is threatened by deforestation and illegal logging. Capture for the illegal pet trade is also a threat to the survival of this species.[2]



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Psittacula longicauda". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "Long-tailed Parakeet (Psittacula longicauda)". Parrot Encyclopedia. World Parrot Trust. Retrieved 2017-01-22.

External links

  • Oriental Bird Images: Long-tailed Parakeet Selected photos
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