Please see Part I of this article to read about the natural history of the Ringneck Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) and it’s survival as an introduced species in foreign habitats ranging from Zanzibar to New York City.
A Pet of Socrates
Ringneck Parakeets have much to recommend them as pets. Indeed, they are among the first Psittacines to have been kept in captivity, with Indian records dating back 3,000 years. They are also thought to have been the first parrot species to arrive in Europe…Socrates is said to have owned one!
Bold, beautiful and inquisitive, Ringneck Parakeets bond readily to people and usually accept the entire family as opposed to only 1 individual (as is common with many other parrots). Owners often report that Ringnecks require less daily contact than do their relatives, and remain friendly and content when kept by those with a 9-5 type work schedule. Stunning blue, cinnamon, lutino albino, gray and other color morphs have been produced, but the natural green is also quite nice.
A large cage is essential…height is particularly important so that the exceedingly long, beautiful tail feathers are not damaged. An Outdoor Aviary, while not essential, will allow your birds to really show off their acrobatic talents.
Courtship and Breeding
It is our good fortune that Ringneck Parakeets are not all that difficult to breed in captivity, as their courtship is one of the parrot world’s most entertaining. Males display by repeatedly lifting one foot while rearing up to their full height, strutting about and feeding the female. Receptive females roll their eye in a most endearing way, spread their wings, rub beaks with the male and engage in circular head movements – all in all, something to see if possible!
Mated females spend more time than most other parrots in nest-hole selection, inspection and preparation. Once a suitable site has been selected, she will gnaw at the entrance hole until it suits her tastes, and then shred wood chips to cover the bottom.
The female incubates her eggs alone, and is fed by the male during the 22-25 days it takes for the eggs to hatch. The male continues to feed her and the nestlings for another week or so, after which the female joins him in foraging for her brood.
Sexual maturity is reached in 2-3 years, but courtship behavior is often observed among juveniles.
Please see the California Parrot Project Website for a comprehensive report on feral Ringneck Parakeets in California.
Please check out the video “What a Ringneck will do for Food” – very funny!
Breeding pair at Sweet Skies Aviary image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Fruitwerks, author Corey Carpenter
Blue Mutation Rose-ringed Parakeet image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Snowmanradio and Caesar, author Tanya Dropbear