An Alexandrine parakeet, also known as the Alexandrian parrot and the scientific name Psittacula eupatria, is a member of the parrot family. The bird is named after Emperor Alexander the Great, and is one of the oldest captive bird species known to man. It is large compared to other species of parakeet, usually primarily green, and has multiple subspecies that have become naturalized around the world. This bird is commonly kept in captivity and can live more than 40 years with a proper diet and care. In some countries, especially Pakistan and India, the Alexandrine parakeet is endangered and illegal to trade or capture, but these laws are not regularly enforced.
Green is typically the primary color of these large birds; the wings are a dark green color while the majority of the body is a pale green. The feathered parts of the birds’ heads mix these shades of green with a deeper, brighter green on the crown and forehead, and a pale green colors the neck area. They have a red mark around the middle of the outer portion of their wings, while the underside is primarily black. The dominant color of the beak is red, with a slight yellow tinting around the edges. As adults, the birds also have overlapping black and red stripes surrounding their necks and meeting in the middle, and their eyes are mostly yellow.
It is believed that the Alexandrine parakeet was originally found in Punjab, a Pakistani province. Eventually, the bird was exported to European and Mediterranean regions and cherished by nobles and royalty. Since then, the bird and its subspecies have become naturalized in a plethora of countries. It is especially common in southern England, Germany, and the Netherlands.
As pets, these birds are best suited for enthusiasts who wish to interact with a bird often because without proper stimulation they may engage in self mutilation and behave neurotically. Often, those choosing to keep an Alexandrine parakeet do so because of their highly regarded mimicking abilities.
A natural diet for an Alexandrine parakeet normally includes fruits, nuts, and flowers. In the wild, they can cause considerable damage to corn, grain, and rice crops. Their diet in captivity is typically quite diverse, including fresh flowers, vegetables, and grasses, and the birds are known to eagerly try new foods. They can also eat dehydrated fruit and some cooked foods.