The Rose-ringed parakeet is a medium-sized parrot that occurs in disjunct native ranges in Africa and South Asia. The adult male sports a red and black neck ring, and the hen and immature birds of both sexes either show no neck rings or display shadow-like pale to dark grey neck rings. Both sexes have a distinctive green color in the wild, and captive-bred ringnecks have multiple color mutations including blue, violet, and yellow. Read the full article with PK Halder and get complete knowledge about Rose-Ringed Parakeet.
One of the few parrot species that have successfully adapted to living in disturbed habitats, it has withstood the onslaught of urbanisation and deforestation. As a popular pet species, escaped birds have colonised a number of cities around the world, including Northern and Western Europe.
These parakeets have also proven themselves capable of living in a variety of climates outside their native range, and are able to survive low winter temperatures in Northern Europe. The species is listed as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) because its population appears to be increasing, but its popularity as a pet and unpopularity with farmers has reduced its numbers in some parts of its native range.
Rose-ringed parakeets are native to Africa and South Asia. They don’t migrate and live in a wide variety of habitats. They can be found in grasslands, savanna, shrubland, rainforests, mangroves, and wetlands. These birds also occur in rural gardens and agricultural areas.
Rose-ringed parakeets are now introduced into many other parts of the world where escaped birds have established themselves and are bred for the exotic pet trade. These parakeets have also proven themselves capable of living in a variety of climates outside their native range, and are even able to survive low winter temperatures in Northern Europe.
The rose-ringed parakeet is sexually dimorphic. The adult male sports a red and black neck ring, and the hen and immature birds of both sexes either show no neck rings, or display shadow-like pale to dark grey neck rings. Both sexes have a distinctive green colour in the wild, and captive bred ringnecks have multiple colour mutations which include turquoise, cinnamon, olive, white, blue, violet, grey and yellow.
Rose-ringed parakeets measure on average 40 cm (16 in) in length, including the tail feathers, a large portion of their total length. Their average single-wing length is about 15 to 17.5 cm (5.9 to 6.9 in). In the wild, this is a noisy species with an unmistakable squawking call. Captive individuals can be taught to speak. They are a herbivorous and non-migratory species.
Habits and Lifestyle
Rose-ringed parakeets are social birds.
They are active during the day spending their time, foraging, flying about, and resting in the shades of tree canopy during midday hours. They often gather in flocks that fly several miles to forage in farmlands and orchards. Rose-ringed parakeets are very noisy and have an unmistakable squawking call.
Diet and Nutrition
Rose-ringed parakeets are herbivores and usually feed on buds, fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, and seeds. In India, they eat cereal grains, and during winter also pigeon peas. Feral parakeets will regularly visit gardens and other locations near human habitation, taking food from bird feeders. In Egypt during the spring, they feed on mulberry, and in summer they feed on dates and eat from sunflower and corn fields.
In captivity, rose-ringed parakeets will take a large variety of food and can be fed on a number of fruits, vegetables, pellets, seeds, and even small amounts of cooked meat for protein. Oils, salts, chocolate, alcohol, and other preservatives should be avoided.
Rose-ringed parakeets are serially monogamous; they do not have life mates and often breed with another partner during the following breeding season. In north-west India, Rose-ringed parakeets form pairs from September to December. During this cold season, they select and defend nest sites, thus avoiding competition for sites with other birds.
The female lays 1 to 7 eggs and incubates them alone for about 3 weeks. The chick hatch altricial meaning they are helpless and depend on their parents for feeding and protection. The young fledge at 7 weeks of age and become independent when they are 2 years old. Reproductive maturity is usually reached at the age of 3 years.
The population of the Rose-ringed parakeet appears to be increasing, but its popularity as a pet and unpopularity with farmers have reduced its numbers in some parts of its native range.
According to IUCN, the Rose-ringed parakeet is common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. However, there are estimates of its populations in Japan which includes around 100-10,000 introduced breeding pairs. Currently, the Rose-ringed parakeet is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are increasing.
Fun Facts for Kids
- Captive Rose-ringed parakeets can be taught to speak. Both males and females are also able to mimic human speech. First, the bird listens to its surroundings, and then it copies the voice of the human speaker. Some people hand-raise Rose-ringed parakeet chicks for this purpose. Such parrots then become quite tame and receptive to learning.
- Rose-ringed parakeets are popular as pets and they have a long history in aviculture. These birds have also been released in a wide range of cities around the world, giving them an environment with few predators where their preferred diet of seeds, nuts, fruits, and berries is available from suburban gardens and bird feeders. Their adaptations to cold winters in the Himalayan foothills allow these parakeets to easily withstand European winter conditions.
- Farmers are not happy with Rose-ringed parakeets and consider them as serious pests because they often visit farmlands and orchards, causing extensive damage.