Species group: Australian Parakeets
Other common names: Red-rumped Parrot; Red-backed Parrot; Red-backed Parakeet; Redrump; Grass Parrot; Green Leek
Scientific name: Psephotus haematonotus
The splendid Red-rumped Parakeet is one of the most popular Australian grass parakeets, both because of its natural beauty and because of how easily it breeds in captivity, making it possible to produce numerous color mutations. Although reportedly rather bold in the wild, they may have a tendency to be aggressive in captivity, except in a large flight, so they are rarely held as single pets. Even though a single bird may be a difficult project, the pairs are quite easy to care for, and many experts highly recommend the Red-rumped Parakeet to novice breeders.
The Red-rumped Parrot is one of two closely related endemic Australian species of Psephotus grass parakeets. In general, the Mulga is the more western bird, while the Red-rumped is found more to the east. There are two subspecies of Red-rumped Parrot, which you need to be aware of if you're breeding to present a natural wild form, instead of one of the color mutations. However, virtually all birds in aviculture are the brighter nominate subspecies, P. h. haematonotus, so it shouldn't be a difficult problem.
The wild Red-rump is easily visible on its home territory, using parks and gardens, as well as farms, grasslands, or open wooded areas. Its habit of sitting out in pairs or small flocks, even near roads, means that birders or even people just driving by can easily admire this spectacular species.
Like its close relative, the Mulga Parrot, the Red-rumped Parakeet is frequently described as a “green” parakeet, a description that hardly does justice to the lovely bluish-green male with the glorious red rump. The normal wild adult female has no red feathers in her rump, but a younger female before her first molt may have a few – and some of the adult female mutations may have red rumps as well. If you are ever in any doubt about the sex of your bird, a DNA test can answer the question. All plumages of Mulga Parrot have a rusty-red crown patch on the back of their heads, although it might be faint in females and juveniles, giving you a quick way to distinguish them from Red-rumps.
55 - 85 grams (2 - 3 oz.)
27 centimeters (10.6 in.)
8 - 12 years
Behavior / temperament:
Like so many beauties, the Red-rumped Parakeet can be temperamental. If you want a single pet, choose a hand-fed baby. (If you are determined to have a colorful male, the baby must be DNA sexed, since it takes time for the adult color to come in.) Work with the bird patiently and with respect, so that you never lose its trust. Socialize your pet every day, and keep it well exercised. Be aware of any signals that it might bite, and learn how to distract or calm your bird. They aren't noisy birds, which is a huge plus in an apartment setting.
While some people have successfully kept Red-rumped Parakeets with other species of birds outside of breeding season, don't plan on this. Assume they will need their own territory, unshared with any other species, because they don't know their own size and they can become very aggressive once they get ready to breed.
It would be relatively rare to own a single pet Red-rumped Parrot, but in the event that you do, be aware of the bird's need for exercise to fight obesity, boredom, and aggression. The powder-coated metal cage should be a large one, perhaps a minimum of 24”w by 18”d by 24” h, and you should also have a play gym with chew items and assorted toys. You want to interact with your pet every day to keep it socialized, so make it practical for the two of you to be together.
Breeding birds should be kept in pairs, in a large aviary, probably large enough to walk into. They are too territorial toward other birds or pets to share, so you should plan for a large aviary for each pair of Red-rumped Parrots. They love to bathe, both in clean sand and in water, so provide them with the proper shallow “puddles” of sand and dirt to allow them to do so. It's a worth a little trouble to keep those gorgeous feathers gleaming. When setting up the aviary, bear in mind that this sun-loving species doesn't tolerate being cold and damp.
Like most Australian grass parakeets, the Red-rumped Parrot isn't terribly difficult to feed right, but the birds do tend to become obese if you don't watch out. The core of the diet is usually a high quality small seed mix. High fat seeds like sunflower should be restricted or not given at all if the birds are overweight. You should also supply a chopped salad heavy on seasonal fruits and vegetables, with plenty of chopped greens supplied. Some breeders stir in wheat germ oil. Soaked, sprouted, or milky seeding grasses should be offered regularly. You can offer a high quality pellet, but if the birds will not eat it, you may have to instead prepare a high quality multi-grain or cockatiel “birdie” bread.
You may want to ask your vet or breeder about whether to offer calcium or other supplements to your Red-rumped Parakeets, but bear in mind that calcium may not easily be absorbed without access to either natural sunlight, full spectrum lighting, or vitamin D3. You should provide richer food in the breeding season, perhaps egg food, special bird breeder's mix, or even live food.
Written by Elaine Radford
pleasant song, lovely bird, gorgeous coloring, wonderful pleasant personality, melodious chirps
Aggressive, larger cages
mutations, small bird
Billy and Bella
I bought Billy for my daughter in 2012. He was a lovely bird, beautiful colouring, very easy to care for, but he seemed rather morose and withdrawn. So we got him a girlfriend, and this made all the difference. Straight away he became cocky and protective - he just loved his Bella. They would cuddle up on their perch and cheep at each other - it was so sweet. One night my daughter heard a commotion happening in the aviary, and went out to find that Billy had been attacked by a rat, and his left leg was just hanging there. We were distraught. The vet said it was impossible to operate on the leg cause it was just so small, gave us some antibiotic drops and sent us home. Every day for a month I caught that darned bird and gave him two drops (he hated me for it), and he eventually healed enough so he could just grasp a branch with his foot. Then Murphy's Law kicked in, and he escaped one day when his aviary was being cleaned. Distraught again. In the following month or two we saw him round about, he would come and talk to Bella, but would always fly away when we approached. We eventually got Bella another mate, and one day Billy did see them together - and I often wonder if it broke his little heart as I swear we never saw him again..
From Stephanie Fairey Jul 5 2013 5:44AM
The redrump is not as well known as the other Aussie parakeets but these are outstanding aviary birds in my opinion. Usually docile, good with other birds, and simply gorgeous coloring.
These birds are about 12 inches long with their tail. They have a wonderful pleasant personality and their claim to fame is that breeders have had great luck coming up with wonderful, marvelous mutations and colors. Many people love their melodious chirps, but these birds are not good mimickers and certainly don't talk.
I especially love that these birds breed well in captivity and are good parents. They are also very hardy birds that eat well. On the activity side, they are moderately actively.
Not much negatives I can say. Most of these birds deserve to be in larger cages and aviaries. They appear to me to be unhappy when cramped. Most redrumps are relatively inexpensive, the unique mutations can fetch hundreds of dollars.
The redrump has it all -- Beauty, personality and pretty songs..
From jysesq Feb 26 2014 11:41AM
Red Rumps - Sadly Not For Me
I have had many birds over the years and l have had a pair of red rumps. The male is the prettier bird of the two... actually the female is quite boring to look at. They are a small bird being a little bit bigger than a budgie.
The reason l am not a big fan of the red rump is simply because the male bird l had was very aggressive to all other birds and when l say "Aggressive" l do mean it. As l kept most of my birds in large aviaries l could not justify having "just" 2 x red rumps in the one big aviary so l tried keeping a few cockateils in with the red rumps.... that was a bad call on my part as the red rump male bashed up a couple of my cockateils and l was forced to seperate the birds.
The red rumps did not suit my needs so l got rid of them and swore l would never get another red rump again. Having said that, please don't let me put you off the idea of getting red rumps as they are probably great birds to have if you are prepared to keep them separate from other birds..
From OzziePete Feb 20 2013 5:41AM