Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Near Threatened

Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri)


French: Perruche à moustaches German: Bartsittich Spanish: Cotorra pechirroja

Psittacus alexandri


, 1758,

China, Bengal, Ethiopia = Java


Closest relatives may be P. derbiana and P. caniceps, despite size differences. N subspecies fasciata is relatively distinctive for having bluish in head and breast, whereas other subspecies have grey head and clear pinkish breast, but black lower mandible of fasciata is shared by birds from W Sumatran islands; further research needed. Eight subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. a. fasciata (Statius Müller, 1776) – N India (from W Uttarakhand) E through Nepal, Bhutan, E Bangladesh, Myanmar (S to Tenasserim), Thailand and Indochina to S China and Hainan.
  • P. a. abbotti (Oberholser, 1919) – Andaman Is.
  • P. a. cala (Oberholser, 1912) – Simeulue I, off NW Sumatra.
  • P. a. major (Richmond, 1902) – Lasia I and Babi I (off SE Simeulue).
  • P. a. perionca (Oberholser, 1912) – Nias I, off W Sumatra.
  • P. a. alexandri (Linnaeus, 1758) – Java, Bali and extreme S Borneo.
  • P. a. dammermani Chasen & Kloss, 1932 – Karimunjawa Is, off CN Java.
  • P. a. kangeanensis Hoogerwerf, 1962 – Kangean Is, off NE Java.
  • Introduced (nominate race) to Singapore and C Japan; in Singapore, breeding regular since mid-1980s. Borneo population commonly considered introduced, but this not necessarily correct.

    Descriptive notes

    33–38 cm; 133–168 g. Bill red, tipped yellow; head pale blue-grey with thin black line from cere to eye, black chin and lower cheeks; underparts pink from throat... read more


    Commonest vocalization a short very nasal downslurred or overslurred squawk, often repeated in... read more


    Moist deciduous forest, secondary growth, mangroves, teak and coconut plantations, woodland... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little specific information: nectar and flowers of Salmalia, Bombax, Butea, Parkia speciosa and ... read more


    Generally Dec–Apr in continental Asia, including Singapore and Andaman Is; every month but Apr on Java. Nest in hollow limb or hole... read more


    Generally sedentary but with local irregular movements sometimes coinciding with food supply... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES II. In continental Asia the species is generally common throughout its range, also on the Andamans where... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri). 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).