Plum-Headed Parrots: The Complete Guide to Care and Maintenance

Plum-headed Parrots, also known as Psittacula cyanocephala, are a widespread parakeet species native to the Indian subcontinent. Known for their striking plum-colored head and neck, these medium-sized parrots are intelligent and social creatures, making them a popular choice as pets. This details guide will cover everything you want to know about caring for a Plum-headed Parrot, including their physical characteristics, natural habitat and distribution, diet and nutrition, breeding habits, common health conditions, and more. Whether you’re a seasoned bird owner or a first-time pet parent, this guide will provide the knowledge and insights to keep your Plum-headed Parrot happy, healthy, and thriving.

Species Overview

The Plum-headed Parrot is a medium-sized parakeet species that belongs to the Psittacula genus. As their name suggests, these parrots have distinctive plum-colored heads and necks. They also have a green body and wings and a blue tail. Plum-headed Parrots are native to the Indian subcontinent and can be found in various habitats ranging from forests to urban areas.

Common Name:Plum-headed Parrot
Scientific Name:Psittacula cyanocephala
Diet:Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains
Group Name:Parakeet
Average Life Span:20-30 years
Size:33-35 cm
Weight:120-140 g
Plum-headed Parrot

Physical Characteristics

The Plum-headed Parrot is a small bird, measuring about 30 cm (12 inches) in length and weighing around 120 grams (4.2 ounces). The females and males are similar in appearance, but males have a slightly larger beak and a more prominent head. The plumage of these birds is striking and colorful, with a mixture of green, blue, red, and purple feathers covering the body. The head of the bird is a beautiful shade of plum with a yellowish-green ring around the neck, which gives this bird its name.

Behavior and Personality

The Plum-headed Parrot is a playful and social bird that enjoys being around people. These birds have a friendly and affectionate personality and are known for their ability to bond deeply with their owners. They love to play and explore, and their curious nature makes them great pets. Plum-headed Parrots are also known for their intelligence and can be taught to perform tricks and mimic human speech.

Natural Habitat and Distribution

The Plum-headed Parrot is native to the Indian subcontinent in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. These birds prefer to live in tropical and subtropical forests, woodlands, and gardens, where they can find a variety of fruits, nuts, and seeds to eat.

Captivity and Care

Plum-headed Parrots make great pets and are relatively easy to care for. They need a spacious cage to move around and play in, with plenty of toys and perches to entertain them. The cage should be cleaned regularly to maintain good hygiene, and the bird should have access to fresh water and a balanced diet.

Diet and Nutrition

Plum-headed Parrots are omnivores and must provide a balanced diet that includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts. A good diet for these birds should consist of fresh fruits such as apples, grapes, oranges and leafy greens like spinach and kale. Seeds and nuts can also be added to the diet in moderation. It is essential to provide a balanced diet to avoid health problems such as obesity, malnutrition, and vitamin deficiencies.

Plum-headed Parrots Breeding

Plum-headed Parrots are monogamous and mate for life. These birds reach sexual maturity at around 2-3 years of age, and breeding usually occurs during the spring and summer. The female will lay 3-4 eggs in a nesting box, which should be provided in the cage. The eggs will hatch after 21-25 days, and the chicks will fledge the nest after 6-8 weeks.

Health & Common Conditions

Like all animals, Plum-headed Parrots are susceptible to various health problems. These birds’ most common health issues include bacterial and viral infections, nutritional deficiencies, and respiratory problems. To ensure your Plum-headed Parrot remains in optimal health, scheduling routine visits with a veterinarian specializing in avian medicine is crucial. These check-ups will help catch potential health issues early on and allow for prompt treatment, ultimately leading to a happier and healthier pet.

Plum-headed Parrots Mutations

There are several color mutations of the Plum-headed Parrot, including the blue mutation, which has blue instead of green feathers, and the yellow mutation, which has yellow instead of green feathers. These mutations are rare and highly sought after by bird enthusiasts.

Training and Socialization

Plum-headed parrots are known for their intelligence and ability to learn, which makes them ideal candidates for training and socialization. Training your plum-headed Parrot can help strengthen the bond between you and your feathered friend and keep them mentally stimulated.

When it comes to training, starting with the basics is essential. Begin by teaching your parrot simple commands such as “step up” or “step down.” Use positive reinforcement techniques like praise and treats to encourage good behavior. As your Parrot becomes more comfortable with these commands, you can move on to more complex tricks like “wave” or “turn around.”

Socialization is also an essential aspect of caring for a plum-headed parrot. These birds are social creatures and require daily interaction with their owners to thrive. Make sure to spend time with your Parrot daily, talking to them and providing plenty of toys and activities to keep them entertained.

It’s also essential to expose your Parrot to different people and environments. This will help them develop confidence and adaptability, necessary traits for a healthy and happy bird. Consider taking your Parrot with you on outings or introducing them to new people in a controlled and safe environment.

Remember that plum-headed parrots can be prone to behavioral issues such as biting or aggression. If you encounter these problems, you must address them promptly and patiently. Seek the advice of a professional trainer or behaviorist if necessary.

Your plum-headed Parrot can become a cherished companion and joy with proper training and socialization.


In conclusion, the plum-headed Parrot is a stunning and intelligent bird that makes an excellent pet for the right owner. They are relatively easy to care for but require attention, socialization, and mental stimulation to thrive. By providing a healthy diet, a comfortable living space, and regular interaction, you can ensure that your Parrot lives a long, happy, and fulfilling life.

FAQs about Plum-headed Parrot

  1. What is the lifespan of a plum-headed parrot? Plum-headed parrots can live up to 20-30 years in captivity with proper care.
  2. Do plum-headed parrots make good pets? Yes, plum-headed parrots can make excellent pets for the right owner. They are intelligent and affectionate birds that require plenty of attention and socialization to thrive.
  3. What is the average size of a plum-headed parrot? Plum-headed parrots are medium-sized birds, measuring around 30 cm (12 inches) in length.
  4. What do plum-headed parrots eat? Plum-headed parrots enjoy a varied diet of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and pellets. Providing a balanced and nutritious diet is essential to ensure optimal health.
  5. Do plum-headed parrots require any special care? Plum-headed parrots need socialization, mental stimulation, and attention to thrive. A healthy diet, a comfortable living space, and regular veterinary care are also essential.
  6. Are plum-headed parrots endangered? While the plum-headed Parrot is not currently threatened, habitat loss and trapping for the pet trade pose significant threats to wild populations. It’s essential to only purchase parrots from reputable breeders and avoid supporting the illegal pet trade.

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