Parakeets at Sian Tuan: 5. Adult abusing juvenile

on 18th December 2018

Parakeets at Sian Tuan: 1. The parakeets are flying in; 2. Gathering around coconut palms; 3. Activities on the roof; 4. Red-breasted Parakeet feeding on Golden Penda fruits”.

Adult Rose-ringed Parakeet with a juvenile on the roof – video grab.

In reviewing the various video clips on the Rose-ringed Parakeets (Psittacula krameri) that flew in regularly to the roofs of a few houses along Sian Tuan Avenue… LINK, a short segment on an adult supposedly feeding a juvenile called for close attention.

However, in this instance the juvenile did not appear normal. Its plumage was untidy and dark, as if the juvenile had landed in a patch of mud. It was trying to get the adult to feed it as it pushed its bill towards that of the adult but was rebuffed. In fact the adult pecked it before the juvenile flea off to the young frond of a coconut palm. There the adult continued to attack the juvenile who then flew off again (above, below).

Adult Rose-ringed Parakeet attacked the juvenile who then flew off… – video grab.

Aviculturist Lee Chiu San‘s interpretation:

“I get the very strong impression from the video that the adult is actually attacking the juvenile. Child abuse is a problem frequently reported by aviculturalists about members of the parrot tribe.

“How did that come about? My hypothesis is through bad upbringing.

“As you well know, parrots, especially the larger ones, are very intelligent birds. Unlike solitary species, where a large part of the behaviour is instinctive, with parrots, a major part of their personalities is shaped by learned experiences.

“And to learn the appropriate behaviour in a psittacine social setting, avian mentors are necessary.

“Many owners of hand-raised baby parrots attempt to humanise them. Such birds then relate to Homo sapiens more than they do to others of their same species. And many end up confused, conflicted and suffer from all kinds of personality problems.

“Very tame parrots often don’t make good parents. This is not an issue on breeding farms where most eggs are artificially incubated and the babies hand-raised. But sometimes tame parrots are allowed to raise the babies themselves. And they may not set good examples.

“They then raise a clutch of maladjusted delinquents which are neither good pets nor good parrots. And the problem will be perpetuated through subsequent generations.

“The free-flying Rose-Ringed Parakeets in Singapore are all descended from escaped or released pets. It therefore comes as no surprise that there will be psychotic individuals among them who are very poor parents.”

Lee Chiu San & YC Wee
20th November 2018

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.

Other posts by YC Wee

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