Mating of Red-breasted Parakeets

on 17th March 2007


In February 2007 when Meng and Melinda Chan were at Changi looking for the Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) (1, 2, 3), they chanced upon a small group of Red-breasted Parakeets (Psittacula alexandri) perching on a branch of a large angsana (Pterocarpus indicus) tree.

There were four birds in all, three males of the nominate P. a. alexandri and a single female of questionable subspecies. Two of the males were on one side of the female while the other male was on the other side.

The female parakeet moved sideways towards the nearest of the two males and made body contact. At this the male immediately mounted and copulated with her (top). The two other males in the meantime moved closer to the copulating pair. The moment the copulation ended and the male dismounted, one of the other males flew as if to take his turn with the female. Somehow he did not succeed and he landed on a branch above. The female in the meantime slided over to the earlier male who was then perching by her side and he again mounted her. This time he made about 10 cloacal contacts, each time his tail crossing hers on alternate sides (left).

The male on the branch above had in the meantime rejoined the others.

Once the pair finished copulating and the male dismounted, she slided slowly towards another male but for some reason or other he moved further away. There was another series of mating with the same male before a male Oriental Pied Hornbill suddenly appeared and frightened off the parakeets (below).


Chan Yoke Meng & Melinda Chan
March 2007

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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