The Alexandrine is native to Pakistan, India and Southeast Asia. They inhabit a range of forest types as well as woodlands, mangroves. They are one of the few parrots that has adapted well to urbanisation and escaped pets have established populations in Iraq, Kuwait Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Iran.
Alexandrines are herbivorous and feed on a range of seeds, cereals, fruits, dates and occasionally buds. Being able to feed on a range of plant material can make it easy to source palatable feed, however, it is more difficult to ensure a well-balanced diet. While a parrot seed mix or parrot pellets provides a sufficient base for a diet fruits and vegetables are required to ensure birds receive all their required essential nutrients and have enough variety to prevent birds becoming bored.
Click the play button below to hear what an Alexandrine Parakeet sounds like.
In addition to seed mix or pellets, suitable fruits and vegetables are also provided including: apples, pears, grapes and oranges; green leafy vegetables; corn on the cob, carrot and celery; pine nuts or peanuts can be feed on rare occasions as a treat. Sources of calcium such as cuttlefish or shell grit are also made available particularly prior and during breeding.
Unlike smaller parrots Alexandrines tend to breed seasonally and only produce a single clutch. Birds begin to form pairs in the winter months during which they will begin selecting and defending nest sites. Like most parrots they naturally nest in tree hollows so in captivity nest boxes are provided.
Alexandrine clutches contain 2-4 eggs which hatch after a 23-30 day incubation. The young fledge after a further 7-8 weeks and become fully independent at 13 weeks of age. Alexandrines are considered to be attentive parents and have lower rates of infanticide compared to other species of parrots kept as pets.
Like most parrots Alexandrines are intelligent and require stimulation to avoid becoming bored and developing self-destructive behaviours. Alexandrines like to chew to maintain beak health so one simple method is to provide a range barked branches for them to shred. Plants native to the bird’s home range are used where possible but many other species are suitable including many trees native to New Zealand and Australia.
Alexandrines are highly visual animals using their colour vision to spot fruits and seeds at a distance. To encourage natural foraging behaviours, fruit and vegetables are ‘hidden’ around the enclosure for the birds to find. Artificial methods of foraging enrichment, such as the use of pine cones, are also used to keep birds entertained.
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