(Psittacula alexandri fasciata)

These little parrots from Northern India, Nepal, Java to the South of China are 33cm long and weight between 110 and 150 grams. They can be found in lowlands, near cultivated fields, in coconut trees and other fruit trees, not far from populated areas. They often form colonies of 30 to 50 birds; in fact, during the rice harvest, flocks of up to 10000 moustached parrots were seen ravaging the crop, depleting entire fields in little time.  They especially like seeds, fruits, berries and various nuts.

These parrots are stocky and have large greenish feet. Their distinctive trait is a "moustache" - large black stripe - which runs under the lower mandibule while another thinner strip runs from one eye to the other giving the bird a serious look.

The male and female look alike : they both have green feathers on their back and wings with a fluorescent glow on the back of the neck as well as on the middle of the wing. The winds are outlined by a yellow stripe. The head is blueish with a slight touch of lilac; the breast is salmon-colored which can be a darker pink at times while the very long tail has a cobalt-blue tip. The male's upper beak is orange and the female's is black which is what differentiates the sexes in adult birds.

Moustaches are rather timid and reserved : they fear sudden movements and prefer calm and gentleness. Despite their impressive beak, they approach new items with prudence and circumspection. All that is not familiar in their environment must be presented progressively and calmly, be it a nice toy a new perch or even a new person. They are quite sensitive and loving, staying loyal to their caretaker. They appreciate being petted softy and gently on the head, neck and beak. Moustaches are not very demanding provided they are given a large cage with many toys and branches to chew on.

Moustaches are excellent talkers : their imitation of the human language is clear and comprehensible. They are not noisy birds, vocalizing for short periods of time only when they wake-up and when they are ready to sleep.

The chicks are dark green all over the body: the dark stripes which define their moustache are still very light in color. The pink breast and fluorescent highlights are not yet not visible. All babies have an orange beak at birth until the 8th week of age when they all turn black. They remain this colour until the 9th mont; at this time, the males' beaks turn orange again while the females' remain black thus helping to distinguish the sexes.

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