The Plum Headed Parakeet is endemic to the Indian subcontinent and are found in large flocks. They are beautiful birds, with the males having a plum coloured head and the female a purple-grey coloured head, with a green body. They have orange – yellow upper beaks and a darker lower beak.
The Plum Headed Parakeet can be found in many parts of India and favour forests and open woodland, though they love village and town gardens. They do not like harsh, dry climates and therefore are not found in the arid regions of India.
They have a distinctive flight call, and their sounds are more melodious than other parakeets, with the males making complex calls akin to a harmony.
There is an interesting extract from history regarding the Plum Headed Parakeet. The Greek physician of the 5 th. Century BC, Ctesias, who travelled to the borders of India, says: “there is a bird called the bittakos which has a human voice, is capable of speech, and grows to the size of a falcon. It has a crimson face and a black beard and is dark blue as far as the neck.It can converse like a human in Indian but if taught Greek it can also speak Greek.”
Though kept as pets, they are not very adaptable in cages and look for the first opportunity to escape.