Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hungry Parakeets, Singapore.

Parakeets are grouped in the same order of parrots (Psittaciformes). They have short and hooked bills, brilliantly-coloured plumage and strong, flexible zygodactyl feet that can be used for gripping food.

I was lucky to be able to observe closely two species of parakeets in Singapore during my January visit.
The most interesting observation was the flock of Long-tailed Parakeets feeding on the oil palm fruits in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The flock has more than 20 parakeets competing for the ripe fruits on the oil palm trees. It was my first experience encountering with the feeding behaviour of the parakeets.
They have strong beaks which are used as a tool to pull the fruits out from the palm tree. Their legs are like their hands and are used to grasp or hold the fruits while eating.
I noticed that the male is the most aggressive and usually snatched the palm fruit from the females or the weaker juveniles. I even saw a male parakeet, which dared to risk possible danger by feeding on the fruit that dropped to the ground.
I wonder why, I can't see a single parakeet in my hometown in Penang, even though we have plenty of oil palms, I guess it must be due to illegal poaching that has reduced the population of the bird.

Another species that I spotted was my lifer at Bukit Batok Nature Park - the Red-breasted Parakeet. The observation was the social behaviour of an adult parakeet feeding the juvenile. This must be a survival lesson taught by the adults to the juvenile on how to find the edible food.
After the feeding lesson, all five parakeets flew away in a flock. (picture courtesy of Khng Eu Meng, thanks for taking me to Bukit Batok Nature Park):
This was my beautiful birding and digiscoping trip.


  1. Hi Yen, thanks, my skill is improving, hope to record more to study bird behaviour and subspecies.

  2. Hey chanced upon your blog while researching wild birds in Singapore. I'm from Malaysia too and I've been living here for about 4 years; I'm quite amazed with all the wildlife preservation & conservation efforts done here. Next time you can visit Changi Village, look up in the trees. You'll find these birds too.