The Nicobar Parakeet (Psittacula caniceps) or Blyth’s Parakeet is a parrot native to the Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar, Montschall and Kondul in Nicobar Islands of the Indian Ocean where it can be found in mangroves, virgin lowland forest and edges of forest. It is classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN. Very little is actually known about its ecology and conservation status.
They are usually found in pairs or small groups. They live high up in trees and rarely come down to ground, as they prefer the dense foliage in tops of tallest trees.
Calls / Vocalization:
They are noisy and their harsh, raucous screeching calls can easily be heard even from a distance. Their calls are described as crow-like.
Diet / Feeding:
Their natural diet consists of seeds, fruits, berries and buds. They prefer fruit of the Pandanus ssp.
Size: The average length is 19 – 23 inches (48 – 56 cm), with a wing span of 7.5 – 8 inches ( 190 – 206 mm). It is considered the largest of the “true parakeets” in terms of length.
Adult Male: The plumage is mostly green. The head is grey. The nape (back of the neck) and crown have a faint blue tinge. The cheeks and ear-coverts have a light yellowish tinge. Chin, broad stripe to cheek. The lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird’s head) and forehead are black. The upperside of the middle tail-feathers are green tinged with grey and with yellow tips. The outer tail-feathers are green. The underside of the tail-feathers are green-olive yellowish. The upper beak is red and the lower beak is black. The irides (= plural of iris) are orange-red and the feet grey.
Female as male, but her nape (back of the neck) and crown are suffused strongly with blue. Both upper and lower beaks are black. The middle tail-feathers, on average, are noticeably shorter.
As these parakeets are so rare, experts prefer any captive birds to be placed into a well-managed breeding program. If for some reason, an individual is unsuitable for breeding and you are considering it for your aviary or as pet, you may want to consider the following.
Ringneck parrots are less demanding than other parrot species, which makes them an excellent choice for someone who wants to “step up” from an easy-going and easy-care cockatiel or budgie.
Consistent training and behavioral guidance from a young age is recommended to ensure potential owners enjoy a bird free of destructive and annoying habits.
Ringneck Parrots are generally hardy birds. However, the following diseases have been reported in this species:
- Aspergillosis (fungal disease)
- Bacterial infections (pneumonia)
- Hypovitaminosis A
Species: Scientific: Psittacula caniceps … English: Blyth’s Parakeet, Grey-headed Parakeet … Dutch: Blyths Parkiet … German: Graukopf Edelsittich … French: Perruche de Blyth … CITES II – Endangered Species