Chances are that if parakeets live in your neighbourhood, you would have already seen them. They are really common and no body can miss them. They are so noisy and sooner or later you would want to find out where the din is coming from. These birds don’t believe in hiding themselves like the barbets and are easily spied upon. But then, it is also likely that you know them as parrots and not parakeets.
There are differences between parrots and parakeets. The former is usually larger and has a shorter rounder tail. Except for one species of parrots found in remote forests of the northeast and Western Ghats, India has only parakeets. If you want to look up parrots, you need to visit the zoo.
The Roseringed parakeet is the most common of parakeets. The female is green all over, while the male has a rose-pink and black collar. The beak is coral red. There is a slightly larger bird called as Alexandrine or Large Indian Parakeet. It is much the same in colour, except that the male has a patch of red on each wing.
Parrots/Parakeets share a few common features with woodpeckers. Both have two toes pointing forwards and two backwards. This helps them climb trees, which they often do. Both use holes in trees for nesting.
Parakeets are fond of seeds, grain, flowers, fruit, nectar, and berries. They travel, usually in flock, to find food and travel back to their roosting place. They are always screeching when flying or while perching. There call is a loud, sharp scream – keeak, keeak, keeak.
These birds nest between February-April and the nest is a hole high up in the tree or holes in walls. Old nest holes of other birds are enlarged and used. Eggs are 4 to 6 and are white. The female incubates the egges for 22 days. The chicks are featherless and pink with yellow beaks. After 7 weeks the chicks leave the nest. Males moult twice and have adult plumage when 3 years old.