After 26 days of incubation, the first Purple-bellied egg hatched, April 17, 1992.

The Purple-bellied Parrot is approximately ten inches in length, its plumage is emerald green and the thighs, undersides of the wings and tail are tinged with blue.  Their bill is horn coloured, their eyes are brown, and their feet and legs are gray.  One of the features that sets these parrots apart from most is that they are dimorphic.  The male bears a patch of dark purple feathers on his chest, starting from the lower breast down through the center of the abdomen, whereas the female is green.

Two day old purple-bellied parrot.

In breeding the Purple-bellied Parrot in captivity, the difficulty was not in encouraging the pairs to breed, or providing them with an elaborate habitat, nor formulating a special diet, but simply in keeping them alive.  In 1989, a group of twenty young Purple-bellieds (ten pairs) were legally imported into the United States by way of a USDA quarantine station in Los Angeles, California.  During the next two years, due to a series of illnesses, including an outbreak of Pacheco’s virus and numerous upper respiratory disorders, this number would dwindle down to only six birds.  The six remaining Purple-bellies consisted of four females and two males.  To the best of my knowledge these were, until now, the only Purple-bellied Parrots in captivity in this country.

Three Purple-bellied parrot babies ranging in age from 5 to 15 days old.

Gray down pin feathers begin to appear.

The babies' eyes opened at about 21 days old.

Photography by Susie Christian© 2000
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