When thinking about adding a bird to the home, most people immediately think of parrots, and of those they usually end up choosing the most common, mostly because they are what they are familiar with. However, along with the ever popular budgie (parakeet), big Macaws and Amazons, there are a myriad of lesser known species of parrots that make fantastic, charming and loving pets. One of these is a member of the very large parakeet family, the Indian Ringneck Parakeet.
The Ringneck is a much larger bird than its smaller cousin the budgie. They range in size from 14 to 16 inches from head to tail, which is just a little bigger than a cockatiel. The bigger size makes them hardier than the smaller budgie, but keeps the housing manageable and easy to fit into most homes.
Another attractive aspect of the Indian Ringneck Parakeet is their vocal ability. They are quite talkative, and easily trained. Ringnecks love to mimic their owners, and are easily taught to whistle tunes or repeat words. They have a fun-loving attitude that is perfect for training, and enjoy tricks and being close to their owners outside of their cages. This charming quality is fun, but may make this species of parrot less suited to small homes, apartments or community housing where there are adjoining walls and neighbors that don’t appreciate your pet’s vocalizations as much as you do.
The Indian Ringneck Parakeet comes in a wide range of colors, all with the distinctive ring of color around the neck that gives them their name. While you can find these attractive birds in blue, yellow and even albino varieties, the most common is a lime green body with darker wing feathers, and green and blue tail feathers. The ring around the neck is typically a pink hue, with the exception of the albinos which may not have any ring coloring at all.
These birds typically live between 25 and 30 years, so will be a part of the family for a long time.
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Things to Consider When Thinking about Purchasing a Ringneck
The diet of the Indian Ringneck Parakeet can present a bit of a challenge to new bird owners. In the wild their main foods are fruits, berries, vegetables, flowers and rice. While they also enjoy seeds, unlike many of the more commonly kept parrots, seeds and nuts are not their main source of nutrition, and require lots of green vegetables, fruits and grains rather than a bulk of commercial bird food.
Like many of the highly intelligent parrot species, the Indian Ringneck Parakeet will get bored if left along for long periods of time. While they are not as prone to separation anxiety as some big birds, they will tend to be destructive if not given enough stimulation and attention.
This bird is especially attractive to bird owners who enjoy a pet that is intelligent, learns quickly, but doesn’t require a lot of handling and cuddling. Most Indian Ringnecks are not particularly affectionate with their owners. This tendency has given them a somewhat undeserved reputation for being nippy. In fact, they have a very stable temperament when handled correctly, and enjoy a strong bond with their owners. However, if you are looking for a bird that wants constant petting and kissing, the Ringneck is probably not the bird for you.
Furthermore, the Indian Ringneck does have one aspect that owners must prepare for. Because their proper diet is high in fruit and berries, their waste is often a matching consistency. To combat the splatter that often occurs, most Indian Ringneck Parakeet owners line the wall behind the cage with plastic, and it is a good idea to protect the surrounding floor areas as well.
Feature Photo Copyright: mawardibahar / 123RF Stock Photo