Breeding of the Blue-rumped Parrot


The Psittinus cyanurus, is commonly
known here in the U.S. as the
Blue-rumped Parrot or Malaysian
Blue-rumped Parrot. They are also
referred to in some books by the
names of Little or Rainbow Parrot. The
Blue-rumped is a small type of parrot,
similar in size to the Peach-faced
Lovebird. The adult plumage of these
birds is very striking, especially in the
males. Like the Eclectus Parrots, males
and female are colored quite differently
from each other. The male has a
blue head, with a dark blue color on
the lower back and rump. The wings
are green with each feather edged in a
light yellowish color. A small maroon
patch is on the upper wing coverts.
The flanks and under the wings are
red, The upper mandible is bright red,
with tl1e lower brownish. The iris is a
yellowish-white. Feet and legs are
grayish. The males have more of a
blue wash over their body, where the
females' color is slightly yellowishgreen.
The female has some of the same
characteristics in color as the male,
such as the yellow feather edging, red
under the wings, feet color and iris
color. My hen has a solid dark brown
head. As young birds feather into
adult plumage, they will either start to
"blue up" in the head feathers or go
brown. As my domestically raised
birds approached a year old they lost
their baby coloring and have a solid
dark brown head, just like their

The Blue-rumped Parrots are distributed
from south-western Thailand
and southern Burma, through Malaysia
to Borneo and Sumatra, Indonesia.
They inhabit forested areas feeding on
fruits, seeds and blossoms. I've been
told that where these birds nest is ve1y
warm. The temperature stays at about
95° with the humidity about 90% day
and night.
Many years back, I purchased some
Blue-rumped parrots from an imp01ter
who brought a small number of these
birds into the U.S. They were young
birds, not yet in their full adult plumage.
Visual sexing did not work well
on these birds. I had some surgically
sexed to find that one of the "hens"
with somewhat of a brown head was a
young male. It took almost a year for
the Blue-rumpeds to color into their
full splendor. After years of intense
work and study of these birds, beautiful
healthy chicks were finally produced.
I successfully reared two
youngsters to weaning. When I say
the word "work" with these birds, I do
mean it.
Lots of close work and observation
went into breeding these birds. Here
is how it all went ... Success and true
pairing just was not happening. I tried
to observe them close up and from
afar. But the birds would just usually
sit motionless, not doing much. A
video camera is what told the real
story on these birds. After much
observation, studying tapes of the
Blue-rumpeds and changing mates 

around, a true pair did finally form. I
now had a pair that was truly compatible.
Now it was just a matter of
patience and time, along with making
sure this pair was completely happy
and at ease with their surroundings.
The pair was set up outdoors in a
wire cage, no added heat or cooling (I
live in Southern California in an area
where the weather usually does not
drop below 40°F). The cage measured
36" wide, 33" tall and 23" deep. A
wooden nest box measuring 9" x 10"
by 14" deep having a 3" in diameter
hole was offered to the pair. The nest
box was lined in a dark cork, which
was adhered to the inside with nontoxic
glue. To the bottom of the nest
box three inches of pine shavings was
added to use as a base. I now use the
cork lining for many types of birds
with great success.
As a safety precaution their cage is
inside a large wire enclosure. This
wire building has many pairs of birds
set up in individual cages for breeding.
They do not seem to be bothered
by their close neighbors of different
species, and the neighbors do not
mind the Blue-rum peds either. Next to
the Blue-rumped Parrot's cage are
Philippine Blue-naped Parrots. Spectacled
Amazons, Timneh Gray Parrots
and Plum-crowned and Whitecrowned
Pionus (all of which are
The diet I provide for the Bluerumpeds
is very similar to the diet I
offer to most of my other parrots. They
have available to them at all times a
variety of dry seeds consisting of
medium size gray sunflower seed, safflower
seed and a parakeet mix containing
42% canary seed. Along with
the chy seeds the pair is given daily a
bowl of fresh cut up fruits, vegetables
and greens. Corn on the cob and cranberries
are their favorite foods which
are always the first to be eaten. I find it
amazing that two little birds can
quickly devour an entire ear of corn
and seem to be waiting for more.
In early spring, the male courts the
hen into breeding with his melodious