Red-breasted Parakeet eats seeds of Lagestroemia speciosa

on 26th February 2011

William Ip was at the Pasir Ris Park in February 2011 where he photographed a Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri) eating the seeds of Rose of India (Lagerstroemia speciosa) (left).

Rose of India is a popular wayside tree in Singapore with attractive pink or mauve flowers (below left). The fruit is a woody capsule that splits open when ripe (below centre), exposing the flattened, winged seeds (below right).

This is a new food record for the Red-breasted Parakeet. Wells (1999) states that there is no information on food. Collar (1997) mentions flowers and nectar of a number of plants and seeds of Albizia, Castanea and Ficus. Also leaf buds of teak, rice and other grains – no mention of Lagestroemia.

Native to areas of India to the Celebes, it is now a popular ornamental tree throughout many tropical countries. In Malaysia it is known as bungor raya, in Indonesia as bungur or tangi, in the Philippines as agaro or banaba, in Thailand as chuang-muu or intanin-nam and in Vietnam as banglang nuoc.

Collar, N. J. 1997. Family Columbidae Psittacidae (parrots). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (eds.), Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 4.
2. Wells, D.R., 1999. The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. I, Non-passerines. Academic Press, London. 648 pp.

Image of parakeet by William Ip, those of the Rose of India by YC Wee.

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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