Purple Parrots - Do They Exist?

Purple Parrots - Do They Exist?

Have you ever wondered if purple parrots actually exist? You might imagine these enchanting birds with vibrant, mystical plumage. However, in reality, parrots that are fully purple in color are rare. Instead, it is more common to find parrots where certain parts of their plumage display shades of purple, while other areas exhibit different colors. While some parrots display shades of blue, red, and green in their feathers, the elusive true purple hue is often closer to an indigo color. In this article, we will explore some of the well-known species of parrots that have purple feathers.

Indian Ringneck Parakeets

purple indian ringneck parakeet

This photo is of a purple (indigo?) ringneck parakeet called Tucker. Image used with permission from @tucker.theringneck on Instagram

Indian Ringneck parakeets (Psittacula krameri), also known as Rose-ringed parakeets, are a popular and charismatic species of parrot native to parts of Asia and Africa. These parakeets are well-known for their striking plumage, which typically consists of vibrant shades of green. However, it's worth noting that among the diverse color variations observed in Indian Ringneck parakeets, there are some individuals that exhibit purple feathers. The purple coloration in Indian Ringneck parakeets can manifest in various ways, such as purple plumage on the head, wings, or tail feathers. This stunning variation adds to the allure and beauty of these captivating birds.

Budgerigars (Parakeets)

purple budgie parakeet

Used with permission from W.T. Luo

Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), also known as budgies or parakeets, are charming and sociable avian companions originating from Australia. These delightful birds are cherished for their playful demeanor and a stunning array of colors. While budgerigars are commonly found in vibrant shades of blue, green, yellow, and white, they can also exhibit plumage that are purple or indigo. The presence of purple feathers adds uniqueness to their appearance, making them even more captivating and sought-after as pets.

The image above shows a budgie belonging to a friend of mine. It has a yellow head and a purple body!


purple opaline fischer's lovebird

A purple opaline Fischer's lovebird

Lovebirds, including Agapornis roseicollis (Peach-faced lovebirds), Agapornis fischeri (Fischer's lovebirds), and Agapornis personatus (Masked lovebirds), are cherished for their affectionate nature and vibrant plumage. These social parrots, known for their lively behavior and adorable appearance, come in a delightful range of colors including shades of green, yellow, and blue. Certain individuals within these species can also exhibit purple plumage.

The image below is Taro, an opaline violet lovebird belonging to a friend.

taro opaline violet lovebird

Used with permission from W.T. Luo

Eclectus Parrots

eclectus parrot with purple feathers

A female eclectus parrot with purple chest feathers

Eclectus parrots, scientifically known as Eclectus sp., are a captivating avian species found in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Solomon Islands. These parrots are known for their striking sexual dimorphism, with males and females exhibiting starkly different appearances. The females of the species possess bright red or maroon plumage, characterized by vibrant shades of purple and blue, with some variations across subspecies. Particularly, those of the roratus and vosmaeri subspecies showcase different shades of purple, with the roratus having darker purple chest feathers and the vosmaeri having a more lavender-hued variation. Eclectus parrots are highly intelligent and social birds, known for their exceptional vocal abilities and ability to mimic sounds. They primarily feed on a diet of fruits, seeds, nuts, and blossoms. Due to habitat loss and the pet trade, the conservation status of some Eclectus parrot subspecies is a concern. Efforts are being made to protect their habitats and promote responsible pet ownership to ensure the preservation of these magnificent and unique parrots.

Violet-necked Lory

violet-necked lory with purple feathers

A violet-necked lory. Image by Doug Janson, licensed under CC 3.0.

The Violet-necked lory (Eos squamata), also known as the Plum-headed lory, is a captivating bird species found in the rainforests of Indonesia. These medium-sized parrots are named after the stunning purple plumage that adorns their neck and head. In addition to their striking coloration, Violet-necked lories are known for their playful and social nature, often seen in small flocks. They primarily feed on nectar, pollen, and various fruits. Unfortunately, the Violet-necked lory faces threats due to habitat loss and illegal trapping for the pet trade. Conservation efforts are vital to safeguarding the survival of this beautiful species and preserving their unique purple-feathered allure.

Plum-headed Parakeet

male plum headed parakeet

A male plum-headed parakeet. Image by Hari K Patibanda, licensed under CC 2.0.

The Plum-headed parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala) is a striking bird species found in the Indian subcontinent. These medium-sized parakeets are known for their distinct sexual dimorphism. The males display a vibrant and eye-catching appearance, with a bright-colored head with pinkish-purple feathers. In contrast, the females exhibit a more subdued and duller coloration, with a greyish-purple hue on their head. Plum-headed parakeets primarily feed on fruits, seeds, and blossoms. These parakeets face threats such as habitat loss and trapping for the pet trade.


In conclusion, while true purple parrots may be relatively rare and elusive in the avian world, we do encounter several remarkable examples of these birds. Whether it's the distinct purple plumage adorning the females of Eclectus parrots or the occasional indigo shades seen in Violet-necked lories, these instances remind us of the intriguing diversity of avian beauty.

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