Long-tailed Parakeets eating palm flowers

posted in: Feeding-plants, Parrots | 3


On 14th December 2007 at about 0745 hours, the morning silence was suddenly broken by the loud squawking of about 20 Long-tailed Parakeet (Psittacula longicauda) in my garden.


Most of the birds descended on my ceram palms (Rhopaloblaste ceramica) while a few were on one of my Alexandra palms (Archontophoenix alexandrae). This latter palm was bearing female flowers and the birds were crowding on the inflorescence branches.

And they were busy pecking on the female flowers and eating them.

Now, palm flowers are unisexual, meaning there are male and female (left) flowers. These are borne in threes on massive inflorescence branches. Usually there are one female flanked by two male flowers. The male flowers mature first followed by the female.

In the case of this Alexandra palm, the male flowers had developed earlier and all that were left were female flowers. There were bees around these flowers as they secrete nectar. So these parakeets were feasting on the nectar given out by the female flowers.

YC Wee
February 2008

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