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African Ring-necked Parakeet

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3.7/5

(14 Reviews)


Is the African Ring-necked Parakeet right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Rose-ringed Parakeet; Ring-necked Parakeet, Senegal Ring-necked Parakeet (P.k. krameri)

Scientific name: Psittacula krameri krameri / Psittacula krameri parvorostris

The basics:
The two subspecies of African Ring-necked Parakeets have been over-shadowed by their larger and more famous relatives, the two subspecies of Indian Ring-necked Parakeets. Indeed, the entire category is commonly called the “Asian Parakeets”, glossing over the African side of the family altogether. Relatively rare as pets, the African Ring-necked Parakeets offer the elegance of the Rose-ringed Parakeet in a slightly smaller, slightly more bashful package.

The nominate subspecies of the African Ring-necked Parakeet, P. k. krameri, is found in north western and north central sub-Saharan Africa, ranging from southern Mauritania to southern Sudan and northern Uganda. The other subspecies, P k. parvorostris, is found to the east, from eastern Sudan through northern Ethiopia and perhaps even northern Somalia. Oddly enough, the feral populations spreading throughout the world are probably only the Asian subspecies. Fortunately for the smaller Africans, the feral P. k. borealis colonies reported from Africa seem to be choosing areas where African Ring-necks don't occur anyway, so they are not competing for habitat.

Appearance:
Adult male African Ring-necked Parakeets develop an attractive black chin and black under-collar, as well as a handsome rose-colored ring around the nape of the neck. Females and juveniles have a faint yellow-green collar if you notice it at all. African Ring-necked Parakeets can be distinguished from the Indians by their size, since the Africans are noticeably smaller. Adults of the nominate subspecies, P. k. krameri, have a bright-red upper mandible tipped in black, while the lower mandible is black with dark red at the base. Adult P. k. parvorostris have a smaller beak featuring a bright-red upper mandible.

Weight:
120 grams (4.25 oz.)

Average size:
36 centimeters (14 in.)

Lifespan:
25 years

Behavior / temperament:
The African Ring-necked Parakeet is not held as often as the Indian Ring-necked Parakeet, but by all reports, it offers much the same personality, except that there's more a risk of shyness or reversion to wildness. If you are seeking a single pet, you should select a domestic hand-fed baby, and make sure to spend some time socializing with the bird every day. You should also allow the young bird a chance to hear recorded voice lessons several times a day, because these birds can learn to speak with surprising clarity if you start early enough.

Although the wild birds gathering in their colonies are noisy and social, an individual African Ring-necked Parakeet is actually rather independent and could be aloof. Some birds could even revert to wildness, becoming phobic or anxious if you neglect them. You need to provide a good balance of time for the bird to interact with you, perhaps sharing dinner with you or practicing tricks and voice lessons. Don't assume that this cool customer is fine playing on its own, hour after hour, day after day. They do need to engage with you, or they will lose the ability to be social.

Housing:
Because of the long, elegant tail, the African Ring-necked Parakeet will be happiest and show off best in the largest cage you can afford. A small macaw cage, provided the bar spacing wasn't too wide, might be the answer. A minimum size could be 36”w by 24' by 36” tall. A single pet should never be asked to share the cage territory with another bird. Females are particularly dominant, but you should maintain the sweetness of your pet by having a separate play gym stocked with foraging toys and other fun things to do. Teach your bird to step up on command onto a perch, so that you can easily move it from cage to gym and back again.

Diet:
The African Ring-necked Parakeet is a tough, adaptable bird, but that's no reason to short-change your pet when it comes to diet. One expert suggests a diet based on 50% high quality pellets, 25% high quality seeds, and 25% fresh fruits and vegetables. The seed should include millet sprays, and the seed mix and sprays should be fresh enough to sprout.

To bring out the best color and to head off vitamin A deficiencies, be sure to offer plenty of high carotene vegetables like carrots, cooked yam and sweet potato, and pumpkin. Dark green vegetables such as broccoli, mustard greens, Swiss chard, dandelion greens, and parsley should also be added to the daily chopped salad.

The elegant African Ring-necked Parakeet may enjoy holding holding food to eat, so don't chop the salad pieces too fine. Let them pick up green peas in the pod or quartered fig for a nutritious snack. However, you must never offer avocado or chocolate, as these foods are toxic to parrots.

Written by Elaine Radford

wonderful

naturally quiet nature, loving birds, apartment dwellers, strong bonds

challenging

bites, constant care

interesting

adequate socialization, single woman, playtime, cell phone ringtones

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