Plum-Headed Parakeets as Pets

Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala) perched on branch, side view
Cyril Laubscher/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

The Plum-Headed Parakeet is sometimes also known as the Plum-Headed Parrot, the Plum-Headed Parrot, and the Blossom-Headed Parakeet.

Scientific Name

Psittacula cyanocephala.


Plum-Headed Parakeets hail from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and surrounding lands. They thrive in the woodlands and forested areas where they make the trees their habitat, although escaped pet Plum-Headed Parakeets have been reported to be able to survive in a variety of climates around the world.


The Plum-Headed Parakeet is a smallish-medium sized bird. Typically, they reach lengths of up to 12 inches long from head to tail, although it should be noted that a good deal of that length can be attributed to their long, slender tailfeathers.

Average Lifespan

Like many hookbills and members of the parrot family, Plum-Headed Parakeets can live for a very long time. Although their average lifespan is usually between 15 and 20 years, pet birds in captivity, when properly cared for, have been reported to live for up to 30 years and beyond. If you're thinking about adopting a Plum-Headed Parakeet, then you should definitely prepare yourself to be taking care of your bird for quite some time. It's best to assume that your bird will live its maximum life expectancy when committing to such a long-term situation.


Plum-Headed Parakeets, in general, are often reported to be gentle, social, and affectionate birds by their owners.

They are relatively quiet for a parrot, and so they may be a good choice for those bird owners who live in apartments or other housing situations that place them in close proximity to their neighbors. When hand fed as babies, Plum-Headed Parakeets can become very tame and will bond strongly with their owners.

It is important for those who do not have experience with Psittacula species, however, to understand that many of these birds will go through a bluffing phase during their adolescence. This is strictly hormone related, and should not be taken as an indication of how the bird's personality will be once it reaches maturity. Birds that are handled daily will achieve the greatest levels of tameness and bonding with their owners.


Plum-Headed Parakeets are a dimorphic species, so it is relatively easy to tell mature males and females apart by the color variants of their plumage. The body of both sexes is primarily green, with varying shades occurring on the breast, abdomen, back, and wings. Males have purplish-red heads that are outlined by a black ring around their necks. Females exhibit blue-gray feathers on their headsĀ and lack the black neck stripe. Instead, many of them have yellow-tinged feathers around their necks.


Like other parrots, Plum-Headed Parakeets do best in captivity when they are fed a diet consisting of a high-quality seed and pellet mix, supplemented daily with fresh, bird-safe fruits and vegetables. These birds enjoy variety in their diets, so be sure to experiment with foods like sprouts, leafy greens, berries, and even peppers.

Birds do not have the ability to pick up on "hot" flavors like humans do, so many of them enjoy picking apart spicy peppers to get at the seeds inside.


Plum-Headed Parakeets are very active birds in the wild, so in captivity, they must be provided with an area to exercise and play in. These birds should be allowed a minimum of 3 to 4 hours outside of their cages each day, in a safe, bird proofed play area. They should be supervised by their owners during this time to prevent accidents and injuries -- so anyone who is interested in owning one of these birds should make sure that they have ample time available to spend with their pet.

Plum Headed Parakeets as Pets

While like any Asiatic parakeet they can be a challenge to deal with during hormonal periods, Plum-Headed Parakeets make excellent pets for those who are familiar with what it takes to raise them.

If you are interested in learning more about this beloved species, contact a breeder or your local bird club or aviculture society. An experienced owner who is familiar with these birds will be your greatest source of information when it comes to deciding whether or not the Plum-Headed Parakeet is a good fit for you. Make the best use possible of these sorts of resources before jumping into adopting one of these birds, or any type of feathered friend.