Category Archives: Birds of India Nuances

Tell apart Plum-headed and Blossom-headed Parakeets

The plum-headed and blossom-headed parakeets can be confusing at first. There are quite a few  photos and videos marked incorrectly which I guess is due to that fact that plum-headed(Psittacula cyanocephala) was sometimes known by the name of blossom-headed parakeet. But blossom-headed is now used to refer only to Psittacula roseata. Lets us look at the main points that can clear up the confusion.

Head&Neck Color: The plum-headed parakeet’s head is deep read nearing maroon. The hind parts of the head is a deep purple-blue i.e. just like a plum. The neck below the black neck band is a different color from the rest of the body – it is a greenish-blue. The blossom-headed parakeet on the hand has a very pale pink head, Its hind head is marked by a very pale ,almost whitish blue. The neck below the black neck ring is same green as the rest of the body.

red-rosepink-rose
Dear friend, I hope these roses placed side by side will help you remember how  differently their heads are colored. The first for the male plum-headed parakeet’s head color and the second for the male blossom-headed parakeets head color.


Photo1 courtesy of Susan Liepa Photo2 courtesy of Betsie Nel

Range: The blossom-headed parakeet is a bird of the North-East India, beyond into other countries east of India like Myanmar,Laos,Cambodia,Thailand etc.So if you see a pale pinkish headed parakeet, in North-Eastern India,well, it is the blossom head. The plum-headed parakeets are present in other parts of India but absent in North-East. Continue reading

Tell apart Brown and Green Barbets

The barbets with brown heads and green bodies can all look similar and confusing at first. Listed below are some similar looking birds and tips to help you find out which bird you saw.

Brown-headed Barbet
The Brown-headed barbet (Megalaima zeylanica) can be confused the most with lineated barbet or sometimes the white-cheeked barbet. All three have the same overall coloration of green and brown and some white stripes. However we could use the following methods to confirm our identification that we indeed saw the brown-headed barbet.
The brown-headed barbet has more brown and less white compared to lineated barbet.

  • Their white stripes on head and neck are really narrow.
  • No white “eyebrows” and no white cheek patches when compared to white-cheeked barbet.
  • Their yellow patch of skin around the eye is real big – reaching upto and sometimes a little below the beak opening whereas the lineated barbet’s stops above the beak opening.

The diagram below helps you view the tips listed above, with reference to the bird.See More Photos here.

brown-headedvsothersimilarbarbets                                                Barbet’s Photo Courtesy of Hafiz Issadeen

Lineated Barbet
The Lineated barbet (Megalaima lineata) can be confused the most with brown-headed or sometimes the white-cheeked barbet. All three have the same overall coloration of green and brown and some white stripes. However we could use the following methods to confirm our identification that we indeed saw the lineated barbet. Continue reading