Derbyan Parakeet

Derbyan Parakeet

Scientific Classification

Common Name
Derbyan parakeet, Lord Derby's parakeet
Psittacidae (true parrots)
Genus Species
Psittacula (parrot) derbiana

Fast Facts

The Derbyan parakeet has a lilac breast and abdomen. The nape, back, and wings are emerald green with large yellow-green patches on the wings. The tapered tail is blue. The face is gray with an iridescent blue-green wash, large black moustache-shaped markings on the lower cheeks and neck, and a black line above upper mandible that runs back to the eyes.
Males are distinguished from females by their bright coral-red upper mandible, tipped in yellow. The lower mandible is black.
: Approximately 46 to 50 cm (18 to 19.6 in.)
Approximately 228.6 g (8 oz)
These birds feed on the seeds of Pinus tabulaeformis, poplar catkins, barley and orchard fruit. It is an agricultural pest, often destroying ripening crops, including maize. It probably also feeds on invertebrates, leaf-buds, and berries.
20 to 30 days
Clutch Size
2 to 4 eggs
Fledging Duration
12 months
Sexual Maturity
Approximately 2 to 3 years
Life Span
Approximately 15 to 20 or more years
This species occurs from India to southern China, including southeastern Tibet, western Szechwan, and western Yunnan.
The species inhabits coniferous and mixed pine-oak forests, alpine thickets, and cultivated valleys, ranging from 1,250 to 4,000 m.
The total population is unknown but appears to be declining. However, the population is not severely fragmented.
IUCN: Near Threatened
CITES: Appendix II
USFWS: Not listed

Fun Facts

Derbyan Parakeets often nest in tree cavities previously excavated by woodpeckers.

Their green and black feathers help to camouflage them against the trees and dappled sunlight of the forest.

These birds are very noisy and are often spotted in flocks of around 40 individuals.

There are several different color variations between subspecies depending on their distribution.

Ecology and Conservation

These parakeets will feed and disperse many seeds, which helps to foster the growth of new forests.

The species was formerly threatened by logging campaigns that resulted in the loss of much breeding habitat; however, this threat ended in the 1990s. Today, old-growth trees, some of which provide nest-holes, are still felled for house construction and firewood, even in protected forests.

Recent observations indicate that this species is subject to heavy trapping pressure and egg-collecting for the pet trade. The species is openly sold and widely kept as a pet in its natural range.


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Marrison, C. and A. Greensmith. Birds of the World. New York: Dorling Kindersley, Inc. 1993.

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BirdLife International. 2016. Psittacula derbiana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22685500A93076177. Downloaded on 21 December 2018.