Bird Families

Song parrot


Least Concern IUCN 3.1
Least Concern
: [ 142506]

Song parrot

Psephotus haematonotus
) Is a bird of the parrot family.


They nest in all sorts of buildings, houses, sheds, and so on. His process of mating and courting a female is rather peculiar. The male repeats a pleasant song many times, makes various movements of his head, shakes his wings. After such a "dance", he usually feeds the female, while spreading his tail in a fan. The female lays 3 to 7 eggs. Incubates for 20-21 days, the male feeds her at this time and takes care of her in every possible way, although he does not take part in hatching eggs. The chicks fly out of the nest after 35 days, but the parents feed them for another 15-20 days.

What to feed

Parrots that have entered the breeding phase are very interested in mineral feeding. Make sure that there is always sepia, mineral mixture, stone in the cage. Chalk is a good source of calcium. You can simply grind calcium gluconate tablets and add to the grain mixture, previously slightly moistened. Mineral substances, getting into the body of the expectant mother, are absorbed and help to avoid the fragility of the shell.

The health of mating parrots directly depends on the correct content and good food. Parents-to-be are worthy of enhanced nutrition:

  1. The awakening of the sexual instinct is facilitated by the consumption of sprouted grains
  2. For the normal formation of eggs, unleavened cereals, kefir, vegetables are added to the usual menu of budgies,
  3. Breeders have a popular treat for nesting birds: a salad of grated carrots, chopped eggs, cottage cheese and sprouts. This dish is not for every day, but eating this mixture twice a week is very useful.

You may be interested in: Molt in budgies: all about care during molting

As soon as the female lays eggs and begins to incubate them, stop giving her soft food, increase the daily ration of grains and seeds. The female spends a lot of energy on heating the eggs, she needs high-calorie food. The water in the drinker should be changed frequently to fresh water. The bird can get sick after drinking stagnant liquid.

Caution: Picky, single grain birds should not be allowed to nest. A monotonous diet worsens the health of parrots and does not contribute to the emergence of strong chicks.


The species includes 2 subspecies:

  • Red-backed song parrotPsephotus haematonotus haematonotus
    (Gould, 1838) - body length 27 cm. Distributed in southeastern Australia (excluding southwestern Queensland, northeastern South Australia, south and southeast of the Northern Territory).
  • Dull red-backed song parrotPsephotus haematonotus caeruleus
    Condon, 1941 - body length 25 cm. Paler and more turquoise than the nominal subspecies. The sacrum is red-orange. The female is paler and grayer than the female of the nominal subspecies. Distributed in the southwest of Queensland, northeast of South Australia, south and southeast of the Northern Territory.

Description of song parrots

Song parrots, as a rule, are small in size with a body length of 26-28 cm. But at the same time they have a long stepped tail from 12 to 14 cm long. The legs are pale pink, the beak is graphite. The feathers are bright enough, and this is what attracts song parrots.

By external characteristics, you can easily distinguish a male from a female. A bright bird is a male, since for the safety of the population, the female should be the least attractive.

In the male, the tummy is bright yellow, the back, head, breast and tail coverts are green. This species has one feature - there is a reddish speck at the bottom of the back. The wings themselves are green with yellowish specks and bright blue edges.

Females have mostly gray and dull colors in feather color, but at the same time it is no less beautiful.

According to the results of selective activities, a new subspecies of song parrots with pastel and bright yellow feathers was obtained.

The genus of song parrots consists of 5 species:

  • Yellow-winged (golden-shouldered) or Queensland parrot (lat.Psephotus chrysopterygius).
  • Paradise parrot. It belongs to an extinct species (lat.Psephotus pulcherrimus).
  • Hooded view (Latin Psephotus dissimilis).
  • Red-backed bird (lat.Psephotus haematonotus).
  • A multicolored or variegated (lat.Psephotus varius) parrot.

To this genus of parrots, many experts also attributed the Blood-bellied red-tailed parrot, but now it belongs to the genus Notthiella.

Description of the blood-bellied red-tailed song parrot

This type of parrot consists of 4 subspecies:

  • Blue-faced parrot (Psephotus haematogaster haematogaster).
  • Red-bellied bird (Psephotus haematogaster haematorrhous).
  • Psephotus haematogaster narethae.
  • Dim red-tailed parrot (Psephotus haematogaster pallescens).

The plumage color of these birds is rather funny - the body is brown, marsh shades, the lower part of the tummy, the undertail is a bright yellow shade. The middle of the tummy and thigh is red. The shoulders and bottom of the tail are of a blue tint, and the flight and coverts are purple.

The front part of the head, the frontal part, the ears are of a bright purple and purple hue. The eyes are light brown, there is a grayish ring around the peephole, and the beak is gray.

Differentiation by sex is expressed in the color of the feathers - bright purple and red feathers in males are bright, while in females they are dimmer. In addition, males look much larger than females, their head and beak are more powerful.

Red-tailed song parrots, although attractive, are not at all suitable for keeping at home. To be more precise, only professional and experienced breeders can create favorable conditions for them.

If you decide to have such parrots, then keep in mind that there should be no other animals and birds in your house, or you should equip a free-standing aviary for keeping song parrots. This is necessary in order for this species to become famous for its excessive aggression towards other animals and birds.

There have been cases of attacks by these birds on large parrots and even domestic animals. In this case, an attack of blue-faced parrots can result in serious injuries and even death for another animal. Blue-faced birds, in principle, are considered fighters. So do not underestimate their complex nature, as long as song parrots live, they will defend their territory so much.

An excerpt characterizing the Song parrot

He smiled and held out his hand to her. For Prince Andrey, seven days have passed since the time he woke up at the dressing station of the Borodino field. All this time he was almost in constant unconsciousness. The hot condition and inflammation of the intestines, which were damaged, according to the doctor who was traveling with the wounded, should have carried him away. But on the seventh day he ate a slice of bread and tea with pleasure, and the doctor noticed that the general fever had subsided. Prince Andrew regained consciousness in the morning. The first night after leaving Moscow it was rather warm, and Prince Andrey was left to spend the night in a carriage, but in Mytishchi the wounded man himself demanded to be taken out and given tea. The pain caused by carrying him to the hut made Prince Andrei moan loudly and lose consciousness again. When they laid him down on the camp bed, he lay for a long time with his eyes closed, motionless. Then he opened them and whispered softly: "What about the tea?" The doctor was struck by this memory for the small details of life. He felt his pulse and, to his surprise and displeasure, noticed that the pulse was better. To his displeasure, the doctor noticed this because he was convinced from his own experience that Prince Andrew could not live and that if he did not die now, he would only die with great suffering some time after. With Prince Andrey, they were carrying a major of his regiment Timokhin with a red nose, who had joined them in Moscow, and wounded in the leg in the same battle of Borodino.With them rode a doctor, the prince's valet, his coachman and two orderlies. Prince Andrew was given tea. He drank greedily, looking ahead at the door with feverish eyes, as if trying to understand and remember something. - I don’t want any more. Is Timokhin here? - he asked. Timokhin crawled along the bench to him. “I am here, Your Excellency. - How is the wound? - My then with? Nothing. Here you are? - Prince Andrew again pondered, as if remembering something. - Could you get a book? - he said. - Which book? - The Gospel! I do not have. The doctor promised to get it and began to ask the prince about what he was feeling. Prince Andrey reluctantly, but reasonably answered all the doctor's questions and then said that he should have a roller, otherwise it was awkward and very painful. The doctor and the valet lifted the greatcoat with which he was covered, and, wincing at the heavy smell of rotten meat, spreading from the wound, they began to examine this terrible place. The doctor was very dissatisfied with something, that he had changed something differently, turned the wounded man over so that he groaned again and again lost consciousness from pain while turning and became delirious. He kept talking about getting this book out for him as soon as possible and putting it there. - And what does it cost you! - he said. “I don’t have it — please take it out, put it on for a minute,” he said in a pitiful voice. The doctor went out into the hallway to wash his hands. “Oh, shameless ones, really,” the doctor said to the valet, who was pouring water into his arms. “I didn’t finish it for a minute. After all, you put it right on the wound. It's such a pain that I wonder how he endures. - We seem to have planted, Lord Jesus Christ, - said the valet. For the first time, Prince Andrei understood where he was and what had happened to him, and remembered that he was wounded and how, at the moment when the carriage stopped in Mytishchi, he asked to go to the hut. Confused again from pain, he came to his senses another time in the hut, when he was drinking tea, and then again, repeating in his recollection everything that happened to him, he most vividly imagined that moment at the dressing station, when, at the sight of the suffering of a person he did not love , these new thoughts that promised him happiness came to him. And these thoughts, although vague and indefinite, now again took possession of his soul. He remembered that he now had a new happiness and that this happiness had something in common with the Gospel. Therefore, he asked for the Gospel. But the bad position that the wound had given him, the new turning over again confused his thoughts, and for the third time he woke up to life in the perfect silence of the night. Everyone slept around him. The cricket was screaming through the passage, in the street someone was shouting and singing, cockroaches rustled across the table and images, in the autumn a fat fly was beating at his head and near a tallow candle, burnt by a large mushroom and standing beside him.

Formation of a marriage union

Before you start breeding parrots, you need to remember that these are flocking birds. The breeder unites several heterosexual parrots in one room, giving them the right to choose the object of affection. A budgie entering childbearing time must go through all stages of courtship, starting from meeting a partner.

Pairing rules:

  1. Healthy, strong offspring is possible only from parents without blood ties. Closely related breeding results in weakened chicks with congenital anomalies. Sick birds with poor heredity do not live long.
  2. You can not impose a partner on a parrot through force. Forced marriage can be fruitless. It is better if the newlyweds choose each other themselves, then the offspring from the couple in love will appear soon.
  3. The appropriate age for mating for females is one and a half years, for males - one year. Budgerigars reach high fertility rates at the age of two to four years. They do not lose the ability to reproduce until eight to nine years. Older birds are not suitable for breeding.
  4. Females usually choose their own "spouse" and then dominate. Experts advise to plant a young female with an experienced male, who has already taken place, like a dad.Then, as she grows up, the girl will not show a quarrelsome character, but will learn to obey her partner.

Attention! Birds that are obese, emaciated, or during molting are not allowed before mating.

Male courtship

When the budgerigar is determined with the object of his love, he begins to actively look after. Strives to constantly be close to the female, polishes feathers, feeds. In a fit of tenderness, he covers his lady with a wing, looks into her eyes, nods his head. A male in love coos and dances, taps on surrounding objects with his beak - tokens.

If the female accepts the boyfriend favorably, she participates in his dances, responds to kisses. Some females do not even take food on their own, waiting for the male to pass the treat from beak to beak. The most intimate process takes place quickly and unnoticed by prying eyes. Mating games last for several days or even weeks, but sometimes one mating is enough for parrots to fertilize. Then comes the nesting time: the mystery of the birth of chicks.


Song parrots are small birds, body length ranges from 26 to 28 cm. They have a long stepped tail (about 12-14 cm), a dark gray beak, and flesh-colored legs. The color of the feathers of these parrots is very bright, which attracts most bird lovers.

In this species, it is very easy to distinguish the male from the female by external signs. The male is brighter, of course, since in order to preserve the population, the female should be less noticeable, because it is she who is the main link in the procreation.

The abdomen of the male is yellow, and the back, head, chest and tail coverts are bright green. In the lower back there is a beautiful, distinctive red spot for this species of parrots. The wings are green with a yellow spot and bright blue edges.

The females are dominated by grayish, duller shades, but she is also very beautiful.

As a result of the selection, new parrots were bred with a pastel color of feathers, as well as with a bright yellow.

The genus of song parrots includes five species, one of which is considered extinct:

  • Golden-shouldered (yellow-winged) or Queensland song parrot (lat.Psephotus chrysopterygius),
  • Paradise song parrot (lat.Psephotus pulcherrimus), an extinct species,
  • Hooded song parrot (Latin Psephotus dissimilis),
  • Red-backed song parrot (lat.Psephotus haematonotus),
  • Multicolor (variegated) song parrot (Psephotus varius).

Previously, experts also included the Blood-bellied red-tailed (flat-tailed) parrot, but now it is considered to be in the genus Notthiella.

Blood-bellied red-tailed parrot - blue-faced song parrot

The blood-bellied red-tailed parrot (Psephotus haematogaster) includes four subspecies of song parrots:

  • Blue-faced song parrot (Psephotus haematogaster haematogaster) - nominal species,
  • Red-bellied blue-faced song parrot, or red-bellied parrot (Psephotus haematogaster haematorrhous),
  • Psephotus haematogaster narethae,
  • Dim blue-faced song parrot (Psephotus haematogaster pallescens).

The blue-faced color is interesting: the body is brown-marsh, the lower part of the abdomen, sides and undertail are yellow. The thigh and middle of the abdomen are red. The plumage on the shoulders is blue, the flight, upper and lower coverts are purple. The underside of the tail is blue.

The front of the head, forehead, cheeks and ears are purple-violet. The eyes are gray-brown, there is a gray ring around the eyes, and the beak is light gray.

Sexual dimorphism is pronounced in the color of the plumage, purple and red feathers in males are rich in color, while females are much paler. In addition, the males look more massive, the head and beak are much larger than that of the female.

Blue-faced song parrots, despite their attractive appearance, are not very suitable birds for keeping in captivity. More precisely, only a professional breeder can create favorable content for this species of parrots and for himself.

The presence of blue-faced parrots implies the absence of other birds and animals, or a separate enclosure (with a double net) for these birds.This is not at all about the safety of song parrots, quite the opposite: blue-faced ones are famous for their aggressiveness towards neighbors of any kind and species.

It is not uncommon for birds to attack larger species of parrots or domestic animals. Everything can end not only with the injuries of an unlucky neighbor, but even with a fatal outcome. These parrots are real unscrupulous fighters, the cause of conflicts is underestimation of the complexity of the character of this little bird.

Habitat of song parrots

Song parrots are native to Southeast Australia. It is the most common Australian parrot. They inhabit natural and anthropogenic landscapes, dominated by separate groups of trees and shrubs. They often settle next to a person and even arrange nests in human buildings: attics, sheds, non-residential attics.

The birds form large flocks, and during the nesting period they separate in pairs, rather rigidly protecting and defending the chosen territory.

Most of the day, parrots "hunt" a variety of small insects, feasting on berries, seeds of wild plants and grains of sand.

For the first time, the song parrot came to Europe in the middle of the 19th century.


Song parrots are very calm and hardy birds, with a pleasant melodic voice and no harsh cries. A special advantage of these individuals is the absolute absence of such a bad habit as the desire to chew on something.

They do not need to bring a large number of twigs, and most importantly, there will be no "attempts" on your furniture and rods or other wooden parts of the cage.

Song parrots are very fond of water treatments. Therefore, it is necessary to organize a bath with clean water in the nest or regularly spray it from a spray bottle.

Perhaps the only minor drawback of these parrots is an aggressive attitude towards their own brethren.

They perfectly tolerate the neighborhood in aviaries with other birds (for example, pigeons, turtle doves, etc.), but with the same song parrots, a conflict will surely arise due to leadership in the same territory.

The life span of a parrot is 15-25 years.

Conditions of detention

Singing parrots have long been tamed by humans and therefore feel great in artificial conditions. Due to their small size, these parrots have a rather small cage (up to 1m). However, if they will not live there alone, then it is better to acquire an aviary about 2-3 meters long.

When organizing the space in the cage, you need to take care of a drinker, feeders, a small amount of entertaining details (ladders, climbing frames, perches, etc.), as well as a nesting house made of wood or plywood (size 25x25x30 cm). It is best to put a layer of moistened sand or sawdust (2-3 cm) on the bottom. Here your birds will incubate their offspring.


Songbirds are completely picky about food. A normal diet for parrots of this size is fine.

The diet of these birds should contain oats, sunflower seeds, buckwheat, safflower, millet, canary seed, wheat germ. You can add boiled corn, fruits, herbs and berries.

During the period of feeding the chicks, feed of animal origin must be included in the diet, for example, egg mixture, mealworms, as well as greens and sprouted grains.

Song parrots are very fond of carrots, corn, apples and pears, pomegranates and bananas. Be sure to provide flowering branches of permitted shrubs and trees.

Ordinary garden weeds are a special treat for song parrots. They are very fond of dandelion leaves and dried arrows of plantain seeds.

Since in nature parrots spend a lot of time on the ground, for greater comfort of the birds, it will be useful to cover the floor of the aviary with a layer of sand.

Threats and security

The number is quite low and continues to decline both as a result of the development of their habitats for animal husbandry, and (to a greater extent) as a result of poaching of birds. Currently, the total population is estimated at only 250 individuals.

Usage Information

Photo "Parrot in the hood, Psephotus dissimilis" can be used for personal and commercial purposes according to the conditions of the purchased Royalty-free license. The image is available for download in high quality with resolution up to 3328x4992.

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