Thursday, April 16, 2015

     This is Cocoa Bean, the mustache parakeet. The Latin name for this species is Psittacula alexandri alexandri. Other common names for the mustache parakeet include "moustache parakeet," "red-breasted parakeet," and "Java parakeet." The Psittacula alexandri are asiatic parakeets, such as the Indian ringneck parakeet and the Alexandrine parakeet. As I mentioned, there isn't a lot of information on the mustache parakeets available online, so I will try to summarize a lot of what I have learned so far about this species here - beginning with the physical appearance. 
     The black marking between Cocoa Bean's eyes is his "mustache." You would think that this would be the most distinguishing feature of the species, but it seems that most people point to the bright pink chest as the signifier of a mustache parakeet.
     Of all the subspecies of the Psittacula alexandri, a few are dimorphic. In other words, the males and females can be distinguished based on a difference in appearance. (Note: for most parrot species, it is nearly impossible to determine the gender without a blood test.) A male mustache parakeet will develop a bright orange beak, while the female will retain the black beak that all mustache parakeets have before they mature.
     Other than the gray-blue head and black collar, the mustache parakeet has bright green feathers. The tail is long and thin - I've even heard it jokingly called a "rat tail." Mustache parakeets are a medium-sized bird, and definitely larger than what most people envision a parakeet to be.

     On a separate note, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in a comment below. Of course, I am not a mustache parakeet expert, or really a bird expert at all by any means, so anything more than simple questions should be directed to an avian veterinarian. Please refrain from any negativity or crude language. Thank you so much!

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