Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Newly fledged Alexandrine Parakeet!

We have a pair of beautiful Alexandrine Parakeets here at Seaview Wildlife Encounter.  The female, Penny, is quite a character – she was donated to us some years ago and to-date hasn’t successfully raised any chicks.  However, this year she and her partner of the last four years, Peter, have presented us with their first chick!  This morning the youngster fledged from the nest for the first time!  By the time I got there with my camera the chick was making its way up the side of the aviary – and then proceeded to hang on in a very un-photogenic pose – however I’ve included this first first image below – along with one of of the proud parents.
Below left: the newly fledged Alexandrine Parakeet on its first outing from the nest this morning!
Below right: the proud parents, Penny (left) and Peter (right).
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A few breeding facts:
Breeding season for Alexandrine’s in the wild is usually between November and April.  Average clutch size is 2–4 eggs.  The average incubation period is 28 days and the chicks fledge around seven weeks of age. They are reared for about three weeks and are typically weaned between 12 to 16 weeks of age. Although listed as being of ‘least concern’ on the IUCN red list, these birds are critically endangered in Pakistan, especially in Punjab province. This is mostly due to loss of habitat – including the cutting of old tress and excessive poaching of their new born chicks. Although it is officially banned in Pakistan to sell these Parrots they can be found being sold openly in the markets of Lahore.There has been a drastic decline in this species due to high demands from the pet trade.  Although it is supposedly illegal to trade in Alexandrine Parakeets in India these birds are apparently sold in broad daylight in urban bird markets, suggesting that the Indian government is not allocating sufficient resources in protecting this species or policing their illegal trade.

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