There are 44,000 hectares in India where poppy grows legally, of which 38,000 are in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Its production makes a significant contribution to the local economy. A few years ago, wild parrots discovered the taste of poppy seeds, and now huge hordes of birds are ravaging the fields. In addition to Madhya Pradesh, other manufacturing-related states are also affected.
According to farmers, parrots gut poppy pods, which affects the volume of the harvest. Some have even learned to break them off and fly away with them. At the same time, huge flocks make raids 30-40 times a day.
Farmers on their own guard the fields, use sound to scare away, even use firecrackers, but intoxicated birds are not afraid of anything. Their behavior generally changes beyond recognition, they crash into trees and pillars, but then, having recovered, they fly for a new "dose".
The government is in no hurry to take control of the situation, although agriculture in India is already suffering from abnormal rainfall. And in the Australian state of Tasmania, where, on the contrary, an abnormal drought reigns, farmers calculate losses taking into account the raids of cockatoos - the local birds also cause great damage to the poppy fields.
One company, Poppy Growers Tasmania, says that "flying junkies" have made a third of the crop unusable. However, scientists ask not to judge birds harshly: according to experts of the BirdLife Australia organization, against the background of a decrease in available food resources due to climate change, parrots have discovered a new source of fats and proteins - poppy is very nutritious.
If you find an error, please select a piece of text and press Ctrl + Enter.
Origin of the species and description
Photo: Pearl parrot
The genus name "Psittacula" is a diminutive form of the Latin psittacus, which translates as "parrot", and the specific specific name Crameri appeared in 1769 as a result of the fact that the Italian-Austrian naturalist-ornithologist Giovanni Skopoli wanted to perpetuate the memory of Wilhelm Cramer.
Four subspecies have been recorded, although they differ little:
- African subspecies (P. k. Krameri): Guinea, Senegal and southern Mauritania, from east to west Uganda and southern Sudan. It lives in Egypt along the Nile Valley, sometimes it can be seen on the northern coast and on the Sinai Peninsula. The African parrot began breeding in Israel in the 1980s and is considered an invasive species.
- Abyssinian neck parrot (P. k. Parvirostris): Somalia, northern Ethiopia to Sennar state, Sudan,
- The Indian neck parrot (P. k. Manillensis) is native to the southern Indian subcontinent. There are many wild and naturalized flocks all over the world,
- The boreal necklace parrot (P. k. Borealis) is found in Bangladesh, Pakistan, northern India, Nepal and Burma. Introduced populations are found all over the world,
Little is known about the evolutionary genetic origins of this species and what the genetic traits of the population say about patterns of invasion into the environment of other countries where the species is not native. It can be precisely said that all invasive populations are mainly descended from Asian subspecies.
Appearance and features
Photo: Pearl parrot in nature
The Indian ringed parrot (P. krameri), or the necklace parrot, is a small bird with an average body length of about 39.1 cm.However, this value can vary from 38 to 42 cm.The body weight is about 137.0 g. The size of the Indian subspecies is slightly larger than African. These birds have green plumage of the body with a reddish beak, as well as a rather long pointed tail, which occupies more than half of the body size. The tail can be up to 25 cm long.
Fun Fact: Males of this species have a dark purple rim around their necks. However, young birds do not have such a pronounced color. They only acquire it when they reach puberty, after about three years. Females also do not have a neck ring. However, they can have very faded shadow rings ranging from pale to dark gray.
The pearl parrot is sexually dimorphic. Wild specimens of both sexes have a characteristic green color, and captive bred can carry many color mutations, including blue, purple and yellow. The average length of one wing is 15 to 17.5 cm. In the wild, it is a noisy, non-migratory species, whose voice resembles a loud and shrill squeal.
Video: Pearl parrot
The head is closer to the back of the head with a bluish tint, there are black feathers on the throat, there is a very thin black stripe between the beak and the eye. Another black stripe covers the neck in a semicircle, creating a kind of "collar" separating the head and torso. The beak is bright red. Paws are grayish, with a pinkish tinge. The underside of the wings is dark gray, as seen in flying birds.
Where does the necklace parrot live?
Photo: Pair of necklace parrots
The range of the ringed parrot is the largest among other species of the Old World. This is the only parrot that is native to two parts of the world. In the African necklace parrot, the range extends in the north to Egypt, in the west to Senegal, in the east to Ethiopia, in the south to Uganda.
In Asia, it is native to the following countries:
- Sri Lanka.
Fat parrots have been introduced to European countries such as Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom. These birds have also been introduced to Western Asian countries such as Iran, Kuwait, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Japan in East Asia. Jordan in the Middle East, as well as Qatar, Yemen, Singapore, Venezuela, and the United States. In addition, African countries such as Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa. These parrots also migrated and settled in the Caribbean islands of Curacao, Cuba and Puerto Rico.
The natural biotope for Karela is a forest. But it can be found in any place with large trees. Necklace parrots adapt well to urban conditions and colder climates. The urban environment potentially provides them with higher ambient temperatures and greater availability of food. They inhabit deserts, savannas and grasslands, forests and rainforests. In addition, necklace birds live in wetlands. They can live in agricultural fields as well as other environments.
What does the necklace parrot eat?
Photo: Pearl parrot
About 80 percent of this bird's diet is seed-based. In addition, the necklace parrot also eats insects, fruits and nectar. These birds live in areas that are rich in nuts, seeds, berries, vegetables, buds and fruits, which are complemented by other crops such as wheat, corn, coffee, dates, figs, and guava. These foods ripen at different times, supporting the parrot throughout the year. If there is not enough food, for example, due to a poor harvest, the parrot switches from the usual food set to any plant matter that it finds.
Large flocks of ringed parrots noisily hit the road at dawn to feast on densely loaded fruit trees or spilled grains. Wild herds fly several miles to forage on farmland and orchards, causing significant damage to owners. The birds themselves have learned to open sacks of grain or rice on farms or railroad warehouses. The bird's sharp beak can easily rip hard-skinned fruits and reveal hard-shelled nuts.
Fun Fact: In captivity, necklace parrots will consume a variety of foods: fruits, vegetables, pellets, seeds, and even small amounts of cooked meat to replenish protein. Oils, salts, chocolate, alcohol and other preservatives should be avoided.
In India, they feed on grains, and in winter, pigeon peas. In Egypt, they feed on mulberries in spring and dates in summer, and nest on palms near sunflower and corn fields.
Now you know how to feed the necklace parrot, let's see how it lives in its natural environment.
Features of character and lifestyle
Photo: Blue necklace parrot
As a rule, noisy and non-musical birds, which include a huge variety of sound signals. They are fearless birds that attract attention with constant squealing. Necklace parrots occupy other people's nests, using holes already created by other species for nesting. Often these are nests prepared for themselves by the great spotted woodpecker and the green woodpecker. On the basis of competition, ringed parrots have conflicts with local species that use the same places as their nests.
Examples of conflicting views:
- common nuthatch,
- blue tit,
- great tit,
- dove klintukh,
- common starling.
The pearl parrot is a lively, arboreal and diurnal species that is highly social, living in groups. It is unusual to see ringed birds alone or in pairs outside of the breeding season. Most of the year, birds live in flocks, sometimes numbering thousands of individuals. They often quarrel with their companions, but fights are rare.
The necklace feathered uses its beak as a third leg when moving through trees. He stretches his neck and grabs the desired branch with his beak, and then pulls up his legs. He uses a similar method when moving around a narrow perch. He has well-developed eyes, which he uses to perceive the environment.
Ringed parrots can make cute, tame pets, but if their needs are neglected, they can get a lot of problems. These are not the best birds to grow with young children, as they are sensitive to any kind of disturbance, including night noise.
Social structure and reproduction
Photo: Pearl parrot
The pearl parrot is a monogamous bird that reproduces in a specific season. Pairs are formed for a long time, but not forever. In this species, the female attracts the male and initiates mating. She repeatedly rubs her head on his head, trying to attract the attention of the male.
After that, the mating process lasts only a few minutes. The mating period of Indian parrots begins in the winter months from December to January, egg-laying in February and March. African individuals breed from August to December, and the timing may vary in different parts of the mainland.
Fun Fact: The bird produces many young chicks every year. Once the eggs are laid in the nests, the female's reproductive organs return to a reduced state until the next reproduction.
The nests are on average 640.08 cm from the ground. They should be deep enough to hold up to seven eggs. The necklace parrot lays about four eggs in each clutch. The eggs are incubated for three weeks until the young chicks hatch. The species has high reproductive rates, which leads to a high survival rate of young and adult individuals.
Fledging occurs approximately seven weeks after hatching. At two years old, the chicks become independent. Males reach puberty at three years of age when they develop a ring around their neck. Females also become sexually mature at three years old.
Natural enemies of necklace parrots
Photo: Pearl parrot in nature
Parrots with pink rings around their necks are the only anti-predator adaptation they use to demonstrate aggregation with a soft “purring” sound. Upon hearing these sounds, all parrots join the attacked bird to repel their enemies, flapping their wings, pecking and screaming until the attacker retreats. The only feathered predator that preys on the necklace parrot is the hawk.
In addition, ringed parrots have several well-known predators that aim to remove eggs from the nest, these are:
- gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis),
- people (Homo Sapiens),
- crows (species of Corvus),
- owls (Strigiformes),
- snakes (Serpentes).
The necklace parrots spend the night in a certain stationary place on the branches of trees, where they become vulnerable to attack. In many countries where parrots cause significant damage to agricultural land, people are trying to control populations of the necklace pest. They scare birds away with shots and sounds from the loudspeaker. Sometimes, angry farmers shoot intruders in their fields.
A very effective control method is the removal of eggs from the nests. This non-lethal method is more attractive to the public in long-term population management.
Population and status of the species
Photo: Pearl parrot male
Since the 19th century, necklace parrots have successfully colonized many countries. They breed further north than any other parrot species. The ringed feathered one of the few species that has successfully adapted to life in a habitat disturbed by humans, they have firmly endured the onslaught of urbanization and deforestation. The demand for poultry as a pet and unpopularity among farmers have reduced its numbers in some parts of the range.
As a successful pet species, escaped parrot parrots have colonized a number of cities around the world, including northern and western Europe. This species has been named the least vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as its population is increasing and it is becoming invasive in many countries, which negatively affects native species.
Fun fact: Invasive species pose a serious threat to global biodiversity. Understanding the genetic patterns and evolutionary processes that enhance successful emergence is paramount to elucidating the mechanisms underlying biological invasion. Among birds, the ringed parrot (P. krameri) is one of the most successful invasive species, having taken root in more than 35 countries.
Pearl parrots spend the night in common areas (usually a group of trees), and counting the number of parrots arriving in such areas is a reliable way to estimate the size of the local population. In many European cities you can find peculiar chicken coop bedrooms: Lille-Roubaix, Marseille, Nancy, Roissy, Vyssus (France), Wiesbaden-Mainz and Rhine-Neckar regions (Germany), Follonica, Florence and Rome (Italy).
However, in some parts of South Asia - where they come from necklace parrot, the populations of these birds are declining due to capture for the animal trade. Despite attempts by some people to revive the population by freeing birds from local markets, the parrot population has declined dramatically in many areas of the Indian subcontinent.