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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 09, 2021

15 Amaze-wing Facts About The Echo Parakeet For Kids

Echo parakeet facts are fun to read about.

In this article, we will learn about the Mauritius parakeet or the echo parakeet (Psittacula eques). This endangered parakeet is endemic to Mauritius. This species was on the brink of extinction but consistent conservation efforts and plans have helped in increasing the population. In 1986, the echo parakeet was considered to be the rarest parakeet in the world. Conservation practices such as hand-rearing wild young birds and conservation breeding have helped in the increased survival of the species. This parrot species has a green-colored body and two collars on its neck. These bird species can mostly be found in forests with plenty of native vegetation like the Black River Gorges National Park. These birds are arboreal and build their nests in natural cavities in large and mature trees. Psittacula echo is dimorphic and the echo parakeet female appears to be much darker than the male. These birds are also closely related to the rose-ringed parakeet.

Keep reading to learn more about these endangered parrots that once used to be Critically Endangered. If you enjoy reading about birds, be sure to check out Carolina parakeet and kea parrot.

Echo Parakeet Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an echo parakeet?

The echo parakeet is a type of bird. The Latin name of the bird is not known but the scientific name is Psittacula eques.

What class of animal does an echo parakeet belong to?

The echo parakeet is a bird that belongs to class Aves.

How many echo parakeets are there in the world?

During the '70s, the total number of echo parakeets in the world was about a dozen. Almost four decades later, the number has increased to about 400-450 with an increasing population trend. This previously Endangered bird is considered to be the rarest parakeet in the world.

Where does an echo parakeet live?

The echo parakeet (Psittacula eques) species is endemic to the Mascarene Islands in Mauritius. It belongs to an exclusive list of the few remaining bird species that are only found in Mauritius. There are four northern populations that can usually be found in the southwest, mountainous area of the country like the Black River Gorges. The two southern populations are located in the Bel Ombre forest.

What is an echo parakeet's habitat?

The echo parakeet bird can be found in the natural cavities of trees. Its habitat is usually located in the restricted forests in the southwest. Large trees like the Mimusops Maxima, Canarium paniculatum, Syzgium contractum are some of the trees which are the favored places for nesting sites in the upland forests.

Who do echo parakeets live with?

The echo parakeet can be seen singly or in small groups in the forest canopy. During foraging in the forest, these parrots can be seen in family groups and flocks.

How long does an echo parakeet live?

More studies need to be conducted to know about the echo parakeet lifespan, as it is currently not known. However, Mauritius parakeets, in general, are known to live anywhere around 5-15 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season begins in August. During the breeding season, the courtship rituals include displays of the necks and heads as well as males and females feeding each other. The distinct pink collar of the echo parakeet also appears to be raised during courtship. The nest sites are the natural cavities of native large and mature trees. The echo parakeet nest has a depth of about 20 in (50 cm) and a width of 8 in (20 cm). During the months of August to October, the female echo parakeet lays two to four eggs. The incubation period lasts between 23 - 26 days. The eggs are incubated by the female.

What is their conservation status?

Once considered to be the rarest parakeet in the world, the echo parakeet (Psittacula eques) has been evaluated and listed as 'Vulnerable' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN Red List. Fortunately, population trends suggest an increase in the numbers of these endemic birds in the country. During the '70s, the number of echo parakeets was about 12. After four decades, this number has increased to about 800 wild birds. In 2007, the status from Critically endangered changed to Endangered.

Echo Parakeet Fun Facts

What do the echo parakeets look like?

The Mauritius parakeet has a vibrantly green-colored body. They have a yellowish underside and a dark-colored back. The bird has two ring collars on its neck. The male and the female echo parakeet are dimorphic. The male echo parakeet has black stripes on its lower cheek which extends to the side of its neck. It also has a pink collar which appears to be crescent-shaped and is bordered with blue patches. The primary feathers of the male parakeet have a bluish tinge. The female parakeet, on the other hand, has no distinct head markings, has a shorter tail, and also has a black beak as opposed to the bright red upper bill of the male.

Echo parakeet is a fascinating bird to learn about.

How cute are they?

The bright red bill, vibrant black, and pink ring collar on its emerald-like green body make this bird appear to be very majestic and aesthetically pleasing to look at, just like a Jandaya parakeet.

How do they communicate?

The echo parakeet is known to have a varied range of vocalizations. Their bird calls become the most apparent during the breeding season. The low, nasal call, sung at the rate of two notes per second sounds like 'cha-chaaaa'. Their excited, high-pitched call which is an alarm call sounds like 'chee-chee-chee'. These birds are also known to growl when angry and a deep 'werr-werr'' call has also been heard.

How big is an echo parakeet?

An echo parakeet is between 13 to 17 in (34-42 cm) long. The length of its wingspan is about 19-21 in (49-54 cm). Each of their wings is about 6.9-7.4 in (177-190 mm) long. It is slightly bigger than a monk parakeet.

How fast can an echo parakeet fly?

The flying speed of an echo parakeet is not known. More research needs to be conducted to calculate the same.

How much does an echo parakeet weigh?

The echo parakeet can weigh anywhere between 5.9-6.8 oz (167-193 g). It is way bulkier than a sun parakeet.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no unique names to identify the male and the female echo parakeet. However, male birds in general, are referred to as cocks, and female birds are referred to as hens.

What would you call a baby echo parakeet?

A baby echo parakeet can be referred to as a 'hatchling' when it is just born. They can also be known as 'chicks'.

What do they eat?

Foraging occurs in different seasons in various different areas. The majority of the echo parakeet food and diet consists of native Mauritian trees. They feed on the buds, bark, flowers, twigs, sap, seeds, leaves, and most importantly, the fruit. During feeding, these birds can often be spotted hanging upside down from the trees. These birds remove the flowers, seeds using their bill while holding them in place with the help of their feet. The echo parakeet species of birds forage exclusively on trees and rarely ever on the ground. Parakeets do not kill or attack other birds.

Are they dangerous?

The echo parakeet species of birds are not known to be dangerous in any way.

Would they make a good pet?

Echo parakeet birds are among the most endangered parrots in the world. They are endemic to Mauritius. One way to protect the bird is to not cage them.

Did you know...

During the incubation period of the eggs of these species, females are fed by males about four to five times a day.

During the breeding season, the echo parakeet can be seen being highly territorial.

Crab-eating macaques and black rats are the most dangerous predators for these Endangered birds. They prey on the parakeet eggs as well as the chicks.

The mention of green parakeets can be found in accounts as early as 1674.

The echo parakeet is the only surviving endemic parrot of the Mascarene Islands.

The biologist Carl Jones has played an important role in saving these birds.

Echo parakeet vs Indian ringneck

The Indian ringneck and the echo parakeet are very similar to each other in appearance. However, they are different from each other in a lot of ways. The echo parakeet is endemic to Mauritius, whereas the Indian ringneck is found in India and Burma. The former is arboreal and feeds on flowers, buds, stems, twigs of large and mature trees native to Mauritius whereas the latter in captivity feed on bread, berries, sprouts, and veggies.

Why is the echo parakeet endangered?

During the '70s, there were only about a dozen echo parakeet birds remaining in Mauritius. The species was on the brink of extinction. However, after a lot of planning and conservation efforts, the population has increased to about 400-450 wild birds. These parrot species are still Vulnerable and need to be protected at all costs. The main threat to these birds is habitat alteration and habitat destruction. The loss of habitat also results in food shortages of this species. Capturing of nests in nest sites by predators, attack by feral pigs and deer are some of the other contributing factors for the species decline.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Cuban Amazon facts and monk parakeet facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable parrot coloring pages

Main image by Michael Hanselmann and second image by Josh Noseworthy.

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