The Alexandrian parrots were most popular back in the days of Ancient Rome. It was then that it was considered a privilege and a sign of belonging to high society to have an amazing bird as a pet. Today, this type of bird does not have such great popularity, but its mental and intellectual abilities, as well as the speed of learning and the ability to talk, are really impressive. The Alexandrian parrot is characterized as a calm, friendly and very sweet bird. Often, when well cared for, they show feelings of affection for their owner.
Origin of the species and description
Alexandrian parrots are representatives of chordates birds are classified in the order of parrots, the family of parrots, the genus of ringed parrots, the species of Alexander the ringed parrot.
The first mention of Alexandrian parrots falls on the period of Ancient Rome. At that time, the local nobility kept them as pet birds, kept them in gilded cages, and even often hired teachers to train them. In those days, a bird was worth more than a good, strong slave.
Birds were brought to the territory of modern Europe by Alexander the Great in the fourth century. The soldiers of his large army brought birds to Europe during the period when they returned from a campaign in Asia. This species of birds was named in honor of Alexander the Great.
Demand and excitement around amazing birds arose after they managed to save the great warrior and conqueror. There is a story when, during one of the battles, the army of Alexander the Great was almost completely defeated, and the enemies tried to capture the leader himself. However, at the most dangerous moment for him, several birds broke out of their cages and fearlessly rushed at the invaders. Those, in turn, rushed to catch the birds, but could not do it. However, as soon as Alexander the Great urged them to return to their cages, they immediately obeyed him.
Appearance and Features
The Alexandrian parrot is one of the brightest and largest representatives of the ringed genus. This bird has a rich, grassy green color, which has a beautiful blue tint in the back of the head. The parrot’s beak is quite large, curved. In young individuals, it has an orange color, in adults it has a rich, red color.
Video: Alexandrine parrot
On the body there are marks of a different color than the main one – there is a brown spot in the area of the shoulder blades, and a dark, almost black mark in the forehead area. A dark stripe runs from the beak area along the lower lateral part of the head to the crown of the head. In the second year of life, males have a so-called necklace in the neck area – bright pink on top and dark brown or black on the sides. From this necklace, a dark strip called a tie descends down the chest.
These birds have a number of distinctive features:
- a massive, large beak;
- a large head;
- a rather large body, the size of which reaches 50- 60 centimeters;
- a long, straight downward tail;
- the presence of dark red patches on the wings;
- a significant wing span, which reaches 20-22 centimeters.
This species of birds has pronounced sexual dimorphism – the female is smaller than the males and does not have a bright necklace in the neck. Ornithologists note that it is the large size and the presence of colored patches on the wings that are considered to be the main distinguishing features of the Alexandrian parrot.
Where does the Alexandrian parrot live?
Alexandrian parrots in their natural environment live mainly in regions of humid forests. The geographic regions of their distribution are very diverse, depending on the subspecies. They prefer to be located at the very top of tropical thickets. It is extremely rare to descend to the surface of the earth.
Geographical regions where birds live in natural conditions:
- Sri Lanka;
- Andaman Islands;
Small populations of Alexandrian, or necklace parrots can be found in natural conditions in Belgium or Germany. Previously, the islands of Reunion and Rodrigues were inhabited in large numbers. Currently not available in these regions. Alexandrian parrots are considered excellent sprinters, but they tend to fly only for short distances.
They can often settle in close proximity to agricultural land, which causes significant damage to the crop, they especially like to visit corn fields and feast on juicy cobs. In their free time from flying, they most often hide in the crowns of tall trees. At night, they can also be very active and fill the crowns of tall trees with huge flocks, the number of which reaches several hundred, and sometimes thousands or more.
In many countries of the world, this type of parrot lives as pets, or is grown and multiplied in special nurseries and zoos. They quickly adapt to new living conditions and feel quite comfortable as pets.
What does the Alexandrian parrot eat?
When staying in under natural conditions, necklace birds are quite voracious and completely unpretentious. They eat almost everything that can be suitable as a food base for birds. These are cereals, seeds of various types of vegetation, corn, fruits of fruit plants and trees, etc.
If the parrot is kept at home, it needs a varied and balanced diet, as this directly affects the health of the bird. An obligatory component of the daily diet of domesticated birds is a balanced mixture for parrots.
They contain grains, vitamin complexes, minerals, and other substances necessary for the full life and health of the bird in the optimal ratio. The daily food intake for one adult bird is 50-60 grams of food.
Required components of the daily diet of poultry:
- soaked white bread;
- fresh herbs .
Potatoes, onions and eggplants are strictly prohibited. Millet in spikelets is considered a special delicacy. Such a delicacy should be given in moderation – no more than two ears per day.
Foods that can damage the health of a parrot:
- raw eggs;
- products containing chemicals and artificial food additives, dyes.
During the period when the birds are molting, you can add a few sesame seeds to the feed mixture, as well as mix in vitamin supplements. The owner of a feathered handsome man must make sure that he always has access to clean drinking water. Parrots are happy to eat homemade cereals: rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, corn, etc. Porridges are cooked on water without adding salt, sugar, flavorings and spices. They must be served freshly cooked, slightly warm.
Peculiarities of character and lifestyle
Alexandrian parrots quickly get used to new living conditions and people. To the owners who can provide good care and living conditions, they express their affection and disposition. Birds have a good-natured, calm and inquisitive character. Scientists and researchers even claim that birds are endowed with intelligence and quick wits. Birds are undemanding and not whimsical to the conditions of detention. All they need is a spacious cage, a balanced diet, water procedures, 1.5-2 hours of free flights per day, the attention of the owner, and his love.
Birds are considered excellent singers and the owner of a strong and sonorous voice. I can sing beautiful, lingering trills for a long time. Starting from the age of three months, parrots can be taught speech. They are quite easy to learn and can memorize a large number of words if they feel comfortable and safe. The fact that the pet has mastered and is ready to completely trust its owner is evidenced by its behavior. He gladly accepts food from the hands of the owner, sits on his shoulder, on his hands, does not flinch and is not afraid of third-party rustles.
When living in natural conditions, most of their lives are spent on the treetops of tropical forests. Most often they gather in small flocks of up to ten individuals. Particular sensitivity and emotionality of birds is observed from January to the end of March. Parrots nest during this period of time.
Birds are very fond of rain and water treatments. When living in natural conditions, they frolic and play in the rain. Therefore, when kept at home, it is sometimes necessary to create conditions for the adoption of water procedures by birds.
Social structure and reproduction
The breeding season when living in natural conditions falls on the period from March to November. During this period, birds form pairs. The male shows incredible care for the female. The female lays one to four to five eggs. After 28-30 days after laying, chicks are born. Throughout this period, the female incubates the eggs, and the male takes care of her, extracts and brings food.
Chicks are born into the world completely helpless and almost naked. However, they quickly grow stronger and become covered with feathers. For the first time from their shelter, babies are shown at 4-5 weeks. The offspring hatched from eggs without getting out stay in the nest for up to 7-8 weeks. During this period, the parents take care of them. Upon reaching this period, they leave the place of birth and lead an independent lifestyle.
Alexandrian parrots reach puberty in a period of 12 months. Individuals aged from one to three years participate in reproduction.
The average life expectancy of this species of birds in natural conditions is 25 years. With existence at home and good care, this figure can double. Breeding Alexandrian parrots at home is an extremely difficult and difficult task, since it is not the owner who picks up a couple of birds, but she herself. During the breeding season, it is necessary to provide a balanced, complete diet for pets. The lack of the right amount of minerals and vitamins can lead to the death of offspring and their parents.
The second important point when breeding parrots at home is the organization of a nesting site. It is best if the owner organizes a wooden house on the territory of a spacious cage, the height of the walls of which will be at least 10 centimeters. The bottom of such a house is best covered with dried grass or sawdust.
Natural enemies of the Alexandrian parrots
When living in natural conditions, birds have quite a few enemies.
The main natural enemies of Alexandrian parrots:
- large lizards;
- large raptors.
When living in natural conditions, bird nests are often destroyed and are destroyed by predators, lizards and other representatives of local flora and fauna.
A person is of particular danger to Alexandrian parrots. Local residents and poachers catch them in large numbers in order to obtain material rewards and trade. Due to the fact that birds are not afraid of people and often exist in large groups, they are easy to catch in large numbers. Bird populations are often located in close proximity to human settlements.
Many parrots are exterminated by farmers protecting their corn plantations and fields with crops.
At home and nurseries, bird deaths are also common. This is due to diseases, malnutrition, the presence of drafts, which have a detrimental effect on birds. Domestic birds also often die from electric shock, traumatic injuries, cuts and injuries, as well as poisoning and flights outside their home.
Population and species status
Despite the fact that Alexandrian parrots are not a rare representative of flora and fauna, their numbers are declining every year. To date, according to scientists and researchers, this species of birds is not threatened with complete extinction, but they are under the threat of extermination. In some areas, the number of animals is negligible, for example, in Pakistan, the inhabitants of the Punjab province felt the most acute reduction in the number of birds in this country.
On the territory of the Reunion and Rodrigues Islands, birds are completely exterminated.
Despite the rapid decline in the number of beauties, they are not listed in the Red Book and are not taken under protection. In Pakistan, the trade in birds, as well as their capture and extermination, are officially prohibited. The sale of birds by law is allowed only in specialized nurseries, where professionals specifically breed birds for this purpose.
Also, in regions where the number of birds is too small, voluntary societies for the protection of nature carry out campaigning work, calling for the preservation of this species of representatives flora and fauna. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has designated the status of the Alexandrian parrot as being in the negligible risk category.