Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala)


French: Perruche à tête prune German: Pflaumenkopfsittich Spanish: Cotorra cabeciazul

Psittacus cyanocephalus


, 1766,

East Indies = Gingee, Tamil Nadu, India


Birds decrease clinally in size from N to S, and head and rump become darker, but limits to proposed N subspecies bengalensis too indistinct to make the name useful. Form rosa, in past erroneously associated with P. roseata, is a synonym of cyanocephala. Artificial hybrids of present species and P. himalayana shown to be responsible for the form treated in HBW as P. intermedia#R. Monotypic.


Indian Subcontinent from NE Pakistan to Bhutan and S to Sri Lanka.

Descriptive notes

33–37 cm; 56–85 g. Bill yellowish above, black below; head crimson shading to greyish plum on mid-crown to nape and ear-coverts; black chin extending as complete... read more


Commonest vocalization a steeply upslurred nasal whistle, “huEET!”. When perched, utters a wider... read more


Moist deciduous forest and wooded habitats and adjacent clearings and cultivated areas in lowlands... read more

Food and feeding

More frugivorous than most Psittacula parakeets, and prefer small to large seeds. Fruit of Ficus and Ziziphus,... read more


Dec–Apr; in Sri Lanka also occasionally Jul–Aug. Nest in hole in tree trunk or bough, often in small colonies within one tree... read more


Resident, but with marked local movements in response to food supply.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Fairly common in Nepal, but with an apparently decline in Kathmandu Valley. In India generally common. Formerly abundant in lowlands of Sri... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & Boesman, P. (2019). Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 7 December 2019).