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What Is a Mustached Parakeet?

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  • Written By: Judith Smith Sullivan
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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The mustached parakeet is a medium-sized tropical bird in the parrot family. It has a green body, a pink breast, and a large black marking across its face, earning it the name "mustached parakeet." It is found in the wild in parts of Asia and the South Pacific and is from the family of birds called ringnecks. In the wild, the mustached parakeet is part of a 10 to 50 bird flock.

An alternate spelling for the mustached parakeet is the moustache parakeet. It is also called the red breasted parakeet because of the pink or red coloring across its torso. There are many subspecies in the ringneck parrot family, but the mustached parakeet is one of the more personable and intelligent of the group.

The adult bird typically measures 13 to 16 inches (33 to 40 cm) in height and usually weighs between 3.75 and 4.5 ounces (100 to 130 grams). It has a fairly long life span of up to 25 years. Adult males have red or orange beaks and females have black beaks.

Their size, colorful feathers, and personality make these birds popular as pets. Mustached parakeets can learn to mimic language and to whistle tunes. If they are properly fed, cared for, and socialized, they are pleasant, congenial cage birds for many years.

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As a pet, the mustached parakeet must be socialized early in its life to reduce aggression in its personality. Socialization can be done through humans, but mustached parakeets are happiest with one or more other birds. If the bird is kept alone, it must have daily human companionship.

Active and playful birds, mustached parakeets need a very large cage with many toys and perches. They should be able to climb and fly, to some extent, in their cages. For optimum exercise and contentment, a pet parakeet should be let out of its cage at least once a day for 30 minutes.

Although generally considered a good pet bird, the mustached parakeet has a distinct personality. It is often called feisty, opinionated, and bossy. Properly socializing the bird and providing some discipline can help the bird adapt to living with humans. Teaching the bird to talk and whistle can also help to reduce screeching or screaming, a common problem with pet parrots.

Curious and exploratory, mustached parakeets will try a large variety of foods. They will eat plain pellets, seeds, nuts, and fruits. They like to be clean and preened, but they have a significant molt twice yearly. They need a large cage and a perch made of concrete to help keep their beaks and claws trimmed.

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