Moustached Parakeet, Mustached Parakeet, Java Parakeet, Red-Breasted Parakeet
Psittacula alexandri alexandri.
Moustached Parakeets are medium-sized birds, generally averaging 14 - 15 inches in length from the beak to the tips of the tail feathers. As with many other asiatic parakeets
, they have a somewhat slender build in relation to their length.
Reports indicate that in captivity, Moustached Parakeets live an average of 25 years with proper care. Of course, individual birds may have slightly longer or shorter lifespans due to genetic and environmental variables.
Moustached Parakeets can make very sweet pets when hand-fed as babies and properly socialized. They are active, social creatures who love to spend time playing games with their owners. Some owners of Moustached Parakeets report that their birds tend to act "bossy" or "needy" due to the fact that they will demand an owner's attention if they feel they are being ignored. Like other Asiatic species, they also go through a period of bluffing behavior
during their adolescence. Because of this and their need for extra attention, they are not recommended as a good "beginner" bird species
Moustached Parakeets display a rainbow of colors in their beautiful plumage
. Their backs and wings vary with brilliant green and yellow hues, they have powder-blue heads with the characteristic "moustache" black stripes above and below their beaks, and they have rose colored breasts that fade into a bluish-turquoise shade on their legs and bellies. The upper mandible of the beak is a bright orange color, while the lower mandible is dark gray or even black. They have gray skin on their feet and beautiful greenish-blue tail feathers.
As with all parrots, it is important to feed pet Moustached Parakeets a varied diet that includes a high-quality commercial pellet formula and seed mixture, as well as a range of fresh foods. Moustached Parakeets are known to be "good eaters" and less finicky about the types of fruits and vegetables that they are willing to try.
Moustached Parakeets are quite active birds both in the wild and in captivity. It is essential that their owners provide them with plenty of room to climb, swing, and play both in and out of their cages. It is recommended that Moustached Parakeets receive a minimum of 4 hours of supervised playtime outside of their cages per day, in a safe, "bird-proofed" area. Because of these requirement, they may not make the best pets for owners on a tight schedule with little time to interact with their pets.
Moustached Parakeets as Pets:
In addition to their beauty, Moustached Parakeets are very interactive pets who love to spend time with their favorite people. Known to be excellent talkers, these birds will reward their owners with many years of comical companionship if properly cared for.
While all parrots will make a certain amount of noise, Moustached Parakeets have been described as one of the quieter species in terms of screaming and squawking. Many owners report that these birds would much rather talk or whistle pleasantly than bellow the ear-piercing screams that hookbills are so famous for. That said, a Moustached Parakeet may be a good choice for those who want a parrot, but would prefer a quieter bird.
While Moustached Parakeets are highly intelligent and very trainable, some owners report aggression issues in birds that haven't been properly socialized to all the members of their human families. Moustached Parakeets seem to have a tendency to choose a favorite person and bond strongly with them, while acting out toward other people and pets. If you are interested in keeping a family pet, the Moustached Parakeet may not be the best choice for this reason. However, if you are a single person or otherwise intend to be the bird's sole caretaker, then a Moustached Parakeet could very well be the most loyal companion you'll ever have. As any potential bird owner should, do plenty of research on this species before deciding to bring one home. Contact local breeders and visit with their birds to get a feel for their personalities and what it's like to live with a Moustached Parakeet from day to day. If after doing all your homework you feel that you "click" with the species, then a Moustached Parakeet may be the perfect pet for you.