Species group: Other Parrots
Other common names: Red-fronted Kakariki; Red-crowned Parakeet; Red-crowned Kakarik; New Zealand Parakeet; New Zealand Kakarikii
Scientific name: Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae
The Red-fronted Parakeet, often called the Red-fronted Kakariki, is an active mostly green parakeet from New Zealand. These birds are outgoing and curious, and they have a reputation for being more involved, energetic pets than their Australian counterparts. Like the Australian parakeetss, they may not like being touched, but they love to fly to their owners and get involved in what their people are doing. Since they exercise by flying, they are often held unclipped, which means that you must provide a long flight for exercise and also secure the house properly to prevent accidental escape when your pet is out playing with you.
In the recent past, there were eight subspecies lumped into the Red-fronted Kakariki category, although the critically endangered Norfolk Island Parakeet C. cookii and the vulnerable New Caledonian Parakeet, C. saisetti have now been afforded the status of full species. There are also any number of hybrids with the Yellow-fronted Parakeet, and even a few color mutations, of the Red-fronted Parakeet floating around. Consult with an expert breeder to confirm what you have.
The Red-fronted Parakeet and its relatives have faced an uphill battle for survival since Europeans discovered New Zealand and the nearby islands. Having evolved on peaceful, isolated islands with few natural predators, these birds are not highly skilled at escaping introduced predators. The same active, confiding nature that makes them charming pets has caused them to fall victim to those who approach with ill intent, such as feral cats. Two of the original eight subspecies of the Red-fronted Parakeet have been extinct since the late 1880s, and more of them face continued challenges. There's some debate over whether or not the Red-fronted Parakeet is completely extinct on the mainland of New Zealand, but there is no debate that these birds are vulnerable in the wild and should be treated as the rare gems that they are. You must never house Red-fronted and Yellow-fronted Parakeets together, as they will hybridize. Make every decision with the good of your pet and the good of the species in mind. For example, if you hold a hybrid, and the seller or rescue organization asks you not to breed the bird, do not go back on your word, as the request is made out of respect for the preservation of the natural species.
In general, the Red-fronted Parakeet has a red or deep orange crown on top of a red band above the beak, while the Yellow-fronted Parakeet has a yellow crown on top of the red band above the beak.
50 - 113 grams (1.8 - 4 oz.)
27 centimeters (10.6 in.)
10 - 15 years
Behavior / temperament:
The Red-fronted Parakeet is an active, involved pet, especially when hand-fed or socialized from an early age. They love to play, to investigate, and to get into things, so they are much more active and involved than most Australian parakeets, and they may enjoy a more high-energy home than the classic Australians. Because they like to go to the ground, do watch your step and be alert when they're out and about.
A single Red-fronted Parakeet is likely to remain an entertaining pet, but all bets are off if you introduce a second bird. The birds may team up and view themselves as mates, which can lead to some territorial aggression. They can bite, especially during a hormone surge or if they are being held. Bear in mind that they tend to dislike being held or picked up, and consider teaching them to fly to you on command to minimize any need to chase them around the house.
Warning: Sometimes a Red-fronted Parakeet will seem to fall into a trance or even a seizure if they are picked up, held, or restrained. Be aware of this reaction, and be sure your avian vet is aware of this also, so that your pet is not subjected to unnecessary tests, medications, and additional stresses.
The Red-fronted Parakeet is a busy, active bird who enjoys climbing, walking around on the floor, and flying. In other words, they get into everything, and you need to respect their active natures. A minimum size powder-coated metal cage for a single pet is probably 24”w by 24”d by 24” tall with 1/2” bar spacing, but bigger can be better, especially for a flighted bird. If you have a free-flying bird who comes to you, that's great, but you still need a bird-proof, bird-secure room where you can lock the doors and windows from the inside so that no one strolls in and accidentally lets your pet escape. A walk-in aviary is not excessive.
Have playgyms and perches set up with toys and chew items, but be aware that sometimes your Red-fronted Parakeet can't resist hopping down on the floor. Know where your pet is at all times, so that you don't inadvertently step on your bird. Also note that Red-fronted Parakeets have specialized feathers adapted for cooler temperatures, and they must not be kept in greenhouses or other overheated situations.
The Red-fronted Parakeet may be susceptible to the aspergillosis, and you must be relentless in providing only the best food in the cleanest surroundings. The basic diet may include a small seed mix, but you may want to consider not providing peanut or sunflower seed except from human food grade sources. Sprouts and sprouted millet sprays are favorite foods, but they must never be served if there is a hint of mold anywhere in the sprouting project. Provide a chopped salad with plenty of healthy vegetables, including greens like Swiss chard, broccoli, dandelion greens, and chickweed. Anything that contains grain, including multi-grain bread or cockatiel birdie bread, should be freshly prepared. High quality pellets should be purchased from busy suppliers with heavy turn-over, to make sure that you're serving only the freshest food. Never feed chocolate or avocado, as these items are toxic to all parrots.
Note: The Red-fronted Parakeet likes to “scratch” on the ground like a chicken, and they will “scratch” in their food cups as well. A partly covered feeder cup may stop them from flinging quite so much food around, but you will still need to work at it to keep the area cleared of spoiled food.
Written by Elaine Radford
colorful pretty parakeet, intelligent bird, Great aviary bird, simple tricks, brilliant pets
sturdy sized parakeet, plastic toy weights, little sqweaking noise, best paternal instinct
When my sister bought these birds is a petshop, I had no idea why the silent things that (looked like cute little yellow chickens I thought) were nicknamed 'the laughing parakeet' along with it's fellow other kakariki species. But, when we brought the pair home I soon found that out!
Jengo, the male, was your typical red-fronted parakeet male. He sat there, staring at you with his mad giggle, it sounded more like he was just laughing at you then singing! (Incidently, I strongly reccomend you do't house them in your study room, it's cute but enough to drive you insane, having a kakariki lingering over your shoulder doing that ha!) And he constantly climbed the roof, tried to grab at you with his foot, acted like a magpie and was strongly interested by shiney things, ate like mad and loathed fellow male birds. (He even tried to challenge my male african grey, who's a big guy unlike him!)
Kakarikis really aren't interested in being trained. They make great companions, they're funny, active very social with people but they don't want to learn any tricks from you. You can encourage them to come out and sit on or with you, but they won't ever pull a cart or lift plastic toy weights like budgies, for example, are well known for.
Be weary of the male's if housed with female's. I'm not saying it's never appropriate, but they can be very aggressive. My kakarikis again both acted typical of their species. Sadi, the female, tried to mate with him by making a sweet little sqweaking noise in front of Jengo, and raised her tail in front of him. She always wanted to mate with him. She badly wanted to reproduce. (Which if you mus tknow was a bit of an annoyance for me, since the reason the breeder sold the couple off to a local pet shop was because they wouldn't mate for him!) and she laid nine eggs. But not one of them was fertilized. Jengo did love her, he could be gentle with her, even cuddled her and he respected her in her late life when she was ill with an unknown virus. So don't think too badly of him. But he was very rough with her, he plcuked her feathers from her neck, chased her, bit her, invaded and destroyed her nesting box (which we later decided had to be sperated from him) and refused to fertilize and destroyed the eggs Sadi layed. I'd like to say this isn't typical behviour in the species, but I found out form breeders that it is. Male kakarikis become very agressive when they want to mate again. And they don't have the best paternal instinct at the stage of the potential offspring being nothing but eggs. So if you know you have a female carrying eggs, seperate her immediately. Only, the hard part is getting most males to fertilize the eggs once reintroduced.
Female's are very sweet. They act quite the opposite of your typical male, they make little noise although they're still pretty vocal. Pretty playful but like to settle down. And they like people, particularly male humans I find they love to approuch, they're such little flirts! :)
I'd reccomend this pet for children over 8. They're a pretty eaasy bird to care for, and sort of easy going. Children younger then 8 years might scare them though. Plus when male's bite your finger they just don't want to let go, that shouldn't cause too much damage to the child, but their beaks are pretty sharp so that could upset your child and make them possibly react to that and then scare the bird. And males will come to the bars to see people and try to grab and bite playfully. Females could be better with younger children, but they only tolerate young children, they don't like to communicate with them. There are better birds for young children I believe, such as budgies and canaries.
From Little_Blue Oct 29 2009 3:46PM
The Red fronted, Red crowned Parakeet or Kakariki is a New Zeland bird (the name means 'little parrot') is a sturdy sized parakeet full of personality. I have had Lemon for just over a year and he was around six months when I got him so he has adapted to me quite well. I also know breeders who hand-tame or hand-rear these birds and they make brilliant pets. From my own experience, I can see why. They are intelligent birds, Lemon loves chillis and has learned to come to the screen door and we will hold a piece out for him which he takes from the hand. They can be quite noisy and their song is not a song in a canary sense but a series of noises but there is quite a range to their sounds, they almost sound like they are talking. Lemon is boss of the aviary in his mind, will often shoo other birds away but is rarely vicious and has never hurt any of the smaller birds. Great aviary bird and with the right background, a fantastic pet..
From angelatempest Jan 19 2014 10:18AM