Rose-ringed Parakeet eats Caesalpinia pulcherrima seeds

posted in: Feeding-plants, Parrots | 1

Sun Chong Hong observed a female rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri) feasting on the fruits of the peacock flower (Caesalpinia pulcherrima). This is a sparse woody shrub native to tropical Americas but widely grown throughout the tropics. It is a popular garden plant with free flowering colourful flowers.

In the condominium where Chong Hong lives, two types are grown, both about a metre tall. There is one with red flowers (C. pulcherrima) (above left) and another with yellow flowers (C. pulcherrima var. flava) (above right).

The parakeet was seen on the plant with yellow flowers, handling the green pods to get at the seeds. Grabbing the pods with one foot, the parakeet used its sharp, curved bill to extract the seeds (below left). The discarded pods as well as uneaten seeds were left littering the ground below (below right).

Writes Chong Hong, “I only realised there was a pair as they flew away when someone walked past the plant.”

Angie Ng, a plant ehthusiast, adds, “I used to enjoy seeing these Rose-ringed Parakeets feeding on the peacock flowers, in my neighbour’s garden. Don’t see them now, probably because no more of these shrubs are planted.”

Images by Sun Chong Hong.

Follow 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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