[P. alexandri: Moustached parakeet]
[P. calthorpae: Emerald-collared parakeet]
[P. caniceps: Blyth's parakeet]
[P. columboides: Malabar parakeet]
[P. cyanocephala: Plumheaded parakeet]
[P. derbyana: Derbyan parakeet]
[P. eupatria: Alexandrine parakeet]
[P. exsul: Newton's parakeet]
[P. himalayana: Slatyheaded parakeet]
[P. intermedia: Intermediar parakeet]
[P. krameri: Ringnecked parakeet]
[P. longicauda: Long-tailed parakeet]
 [P. roseata: Blossomheaded parakeet][P. wardi: Seychelles parakeet] 

Psittacula echo [Newton and Newton 1876]

Mauritius Parakeet

Psittacula echo (Newton and Newton1876)

Description: Green; back of head to side of cheek area suffused with blue; broad cheek-stripe to side of nape and narrow line from cere to eye black; collar to side of nape pink; abdomen and under wing-coverts slightly brighter green; upperside of tail-feathers green, underside dirty yellow; upper mandible red; lower mandible black; iris yellowish; feet grey.

Hen with dark green stripe to cheek and without pink band to nape; yellow-green collar; blue tinge to back of head absent; middle tail-feathers washed with blue; upper and lower mandible black.

Immatures as hen, but with shorter tail-feathers.

Length: 42 cm, wing length 175 - 190 mm, tail length 162 - 200 mm.

Distribution: Mauritius, perhaps formerly on Réunion as well.


Psittacula echo Cock
Photo: Dr. R. Seitre
Psittacula echo 


Habitat:
Today restricted to Macchab; forest of Black River George in southwestern Mauritius over 500 m; formerly in all forested parts of island.

Status: Extremely endangered; population in 1991 was some 15 to 20 birds, of which only three were hen; cause is clearing of virgin forest; also introduced plants and animals such as pigs, deer, monkeys, rats, mynah birds and Ring-necked Parakeets, which destroy habitat or compete for food. Population in 2003 about 250 in the wild; Birds are also caught for breeding and releasing the Juveniles.

Behaviour: Found singly, in pairs or small groups; never comes down to ground; trusting; can be approached as close as 3 m; flies several kilometres in search of food; rests at midday and preens feathers; at this time occasionally gathers on tall trees; mutual feeding, preening, billing and cooing has been observed throughout year; shortly before dusk they fly around in group; then noisy and unsettled; roosts at night in secluded trees with thick foliage; also roosts occasionally in tree hollows; call disyllabic.

Call: Call disyllabic.

Natural diet: Buds, leaves, young shoots, fruits, seeds, flowers, bark and sap; fruit proportion 93% from January to August.

Nesting: Breeding season from August to January; copulation mostly observed September and October; pairs have fixed territories; nonetheless little squabbling or disputes between pairs when they meet; courtship display similar to Ring-necked Parakeet (Psittacula krameri); nests in tall, dominating trees; prefers Calophyllum, Canarium, Mimusops and Sideroxylon; nest located mostly in horizontal branches; entrance hole 10 to 15 cm and sheltered from rain water; chamber usually 20 cm wide and 50 cm deep; clutch 2 to 3 eggs; incubation 22 to 24 days; young initially fed by cock; hen also forages for food for young from third week; young fledge by end of February at latest; remain two or three months with parents; assistance from unpartnered cock also possible.

Aviculture: Medium-noisy parakeet; susceptible; all birds held in captivity have always died after one to two years; probably very similar in behaviour to Ring-necked Parakeet (Psittacula krameri).

Diet: Various fruit, seeds of local plants, buds and leaves, small seed mix of safflower, millet, hemp, oats and canary grass; millet spray.

Clutch: 2 - 3 eggs.

Incubation: 22 -24 days.

Breeding: Achieved for releasing into the wild.



Psittacula echo Hen
Photo: Dr. J. Groombridge

Psittacula echo Juveniles
Photo: WPT

Psittacula echo Hen
Photo: Dr. J. Groombridge
[P. alexandri: Moustached parakeet]
[P. calthorpae: Emerald-collared parakeet]
[P. caniceps: Blyth's parakeet]
[P. columboides: Malabar parakeet]
[P. cyanocephala: Plumheaded parakeet]
[P. derbyana: Derbyan parakeet]
[P. eupatria: Alexandrine parakeet]
[P. exsul: Newton's parakeet]
[P. himalayana: Slatyheaded parakeet]
[P. intermedia: Intermediar parakeet]
[P. krameri: Ringnecked parakeet]
[P. longicauda: Long-tailed parakeet]
 [P. roseata: Blossomheaded parakeet][P. wardi: Seychelles parakeet] 

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