Necklace parrots are very smart and have a friendly disposition. Therefore, these birds cause great sympathy among a wide audience, and every year there are more and more people who want to have such a pet at home. In some sources, necklace parrots are called ringed. Initially, this breed lived on the African and Asian continents. Later, necklace parrots were brought to Australia and India, where they formed new species.
The body length of an adult, depending on the species, can be within 30-50 cm, the wingspan is 15-16 cm, the total weight is about 150 g. The tail of the bird is long, multi-layered, the wings are long, pointed at the ends, the legs are short and weakly developed, but the beak is quite large, so when walking, the parrot uses it as an additional support.
The main color of the parrot is usually emerald green, and there is a decoration in the form of a dark stripe around the neck. It looks like a necklace, from which the name of the breed came – necklace. This necklace can be used to determine the gender of a bird. It is found only in the male, and the girl traditionally does not have such decoration: like most bird breeds, male parrots have a brighter color in order to attract the attention of the female. The wings are spotted above, yellow-green, and gray below, there is an orange halo around the eyes, and the beak is bright red.
There are several ways to determine the age of an adult. The older the bird, the more intense the color of its beak and plumage. In a young parrot, the beak is pale pink, and the characteristic colored edging appears at about 6-7 months of age.
At the age of one year, the bird begins to molt, and it is during this period that the most recognizable necklace begins to appear. At first, the decoration is barely noticeable, but it will finally form by the age of three of the bird. In addition, the two main tail feathers in chicks grow by six months, at an earlier age they are absent.
At a young age, it is very difficult to determine the sex of a bird, since the chicks of both sexes have the same pale plumage color. Therefore, it is better to buy a young parrot in special stores, where an experienced seller can correctly determine the gender.
In nature, necklace parrots live in a tropical climate, they prefer to settle in huge flocks of up to several hundred individuals, crowding out other species of birds. In search of food, they fly out of the nests in the early morning and evening, when there is no sweltering heat, from which they hide during the day in the shade of thick branches. They feed on plant foods: fruits, grass, leaves and seeds of plants.
The female lays eggs 2 times per season (some species – 3 times), usually from 2 to 4 pieces. Chicks appear in about a month, and after another one and a half to two months they are ready for independent life.
The genus of ringed parrots currently has 13 species.
- Pink-breasted (Psittacula alexandri). The size of an adult is 30-35 cm, the tail length is 22 cm. The main color of the plumage is green, the head is blue, there are black stripes on the forehead, the breast and part of the abdomen are painted pink. It lives mainly in some provinces of India, where it settles in huge flocks and ruins rice and other agricultural plantations, for which it is subjected to mass destruction by people.
Since mainly females are imported into the European part, they are practically not subject to reproduction in captivity. There are 8 subspecies of this species, depending on some details of the plumage color and body size.
- Emerald (Psittacula calthropae). Lives in Sri Lanka. It has a body measuring 30 cm, a tail length of 13 cm. The main color is blue-green, the head and upper body are blue with a grayish tint, and there is a bright green necklace on the neck. The main feathers on the tail are also blue, and the tip of the tail is yellow. The male has a red-brown beak, the female is black.
- Grey-headed (Psittacula caniceps). In some sources it is indicated as plum-headed. The sizes are large – it can grow up to 50-55 cm in length. The head, as the name implies, is gray, with a bluish tinge, there is yellow fluff on the cheeks and ears. In some places there are wide black stripes, around the eyes there is a bright orange edging. It lives on the coast of the Indian Ocean. An understudied look.
- Malabar (Psittacula columboides). Lives in parts of India. The body length is standard for the necklace genus – 35-36 cm, the length of the tail feathers is 20-25 cm, the upper body is gray, the lower is green with a bluish hint. Around the eyes, on the abdomen and lower part of the tail, the male has a yellow-green fluff. In the female, blue shades predominate in color.
- Red-headed (Psittacula cyanocephala). Settlements of red-headed ringed parrots can be found in India, China, Nepal, some areas of Pakistan, as well as in Sri Lanka. They prefer tropical climates. This type of ringed is considered one of the most beautiful. The main plumage is a rich emerald color with a slight olive tint. The head and neck are dark cherry, with a slight bluish tinge. There are black markings on the wings and on the neck, the beak of males is light yellow, and that of females is red.
They rarely breed in captivity, as individuals of both sexes are similar to each other, which makes it difficult to select partners for a pair. Favorably differs from its relatives in a pleasant melodious voice, it is easy to train.
- Mauritius (Psittacula echo). The length of an adult is 42 cm, lives in Madagascar, Mauritius and some other islands of the Indian Ocean. Rare, endangered species. Today, the population is about a hundred individuals, mostly male.
- Alexandrov (Psittacula eupatria). Another large representative of the necklace genus – can grow up to 60 cm. It lives in some areas of South and Southeast Asia, the Andaman Islands and Sri Lanka. The color is traditionally green, the males have a pink and black necklace around their neck.
The species lends itself well to learning, can memorize up to 15 words. Lives in cages and aviaries for a long time. Depending on the details, it is divided into 5 subspecies.
- Finsch’s parrot (Psittacula finschii). The length of the bird is 35-40 cm, the color is green with red foci, the head is gray. It lives in Thailand, China, Vietnam and other areas of Asia. Its peculiarity is that it can live at an altitude of up to several thousand meters above sea level.
- Himalayan (Psittacula himalayana). Lives in India and Vietnam. Color and size are identical to the previous species. The female has a paler coloration, and unlike the males, she lacks the red stripes on her wings. It is divided into two subspecies that live in different areas.
- Indian ringed (Psittacula krameri). It lives in parts of Africa and South Asia. It is considered the largest population among parrots. Prefers to settle in close proximity to humans. The main color of the bird is green, similar to the color of the foliage, with a blue tint, there are several black feathers on the wings, the head has a bluish tinge, a narrow black stripe goes from the beak to the forehead, there are two stripes on the neck – black and bright pink, the breast part of the male is black , the female is green.
When flapping their wings, you can see that their lower feathers are dark gray. The feathers at the tip of the tail are yellowish.
- Ringed threadtail (Psittacula longicauda). Homeland is Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore. Body size – 40 cm, tail length – 25 cm. The body color is green, the beak of the male is red-brown, the female is black. There are red stripes on the head. There are five different subspecies of the thread-tailed parrot living in different areas.
- Pink-headed ringed (Psittacula roseata). Habitat – India. Prefers forest areas, settles in small groups. Body length – 35 cm, green color, gray-blue head, red-brown shapeless spots on the wings. Males have a melodic timbre, a calm character, they are well trained, but human speech is practically not trained.
- Chinese ringed (Psittacula derbiana). The bird is large, with a body up to 50 cm and a tail about 30 cm long. It lives in the southern provinces of China and India. The color of the body is green above, lilac-blue below. Between the eyes and on the neck there are black stripes, the breast and the main feathers on the wings are painted gray-blue. We are good at teaching human speech.
Necklace parrots are unpretentious in everyday life and do not require any special conditions for proper care. The main condition for their proper maintenance is the presence of a large cage, or better, an aviary. Since the bird does not have strong legs, it prefers to move in flight. And for that, she needs space.
The minimum allowable cage dimensions for a necklace parrot are 70 cm high and 50 cm long. And if it is supposed to keep the male together with the female, it is better to choose a room for the couple with an area of at least 2-3 square meters. m. And even if the aviary is spacious enough, it is necessary to let the parrot out of it daily so that it can spread its wings and train its muscles in flight.
The cage must have several crossbars and a lot of toys. It can be ladders, bells, a mirror and other interesting items. With a sufficient number of different attributes, parrots perfectly tolerate loneliness.
An important detail: the cage must be made of durable metal with anti-corrosion treatment. Since the parrot has a powerful beak, it can easily break the bars of the cage if they are not strong enough.
The life span of a necklace parrot often depends on the conditions of its maintenance. According to statistics, parrots live much longer in captivity than in the natural environment. If you provide optimal living conditions and constant attention and care from the owner, then the life expectancy of a parrot will be an average of 50 years.
There are also isolated cases when parrots of this breed lived up to 70 years. But in nature, parrots rarely step over the age barrier of 10-15 years. This is due to the fact that snakes and other enemies in nature do not attack birds under artificial conditions. In addition, in captivity, parrots have a well-balanced diet and there is no need to get food on their own.
Ensuring proper feeding of a necklace parrot is a simple matter.
- The main component of the diet of parrots in captivity is a grain mixture, consisting of 35-40% of millet and various additives in equal parts: sunflower seeds, canary food, oats or oatmeal, wheat grains.
- To diversify the diet of a parrot, you can add fresh vegetables, boiled eggs, low-fat cottage cheese to the food, and sometimes feed it with unsalted hard cheese.
- Occasionally, a parrot can be given peeled walnut kernels, but in limited doses, as they are high in fatty amino acids.
- Parrots love to gnaw on various objects, so from time to time you can throw small wooden twigs into their cage, as well as leaves of house plants. The main thing is to make sure that they are not poisonous.
To prevent your pet from getting sick, you must follow basic hygiene measures. In addition to daily cleaning of the cage, the parrot must be bathed periodically. The bird should be accustomed to water procedures gradually so as not to scare it away. To begin with, try lightly spraying it through the rods from the spray bottle.
When the parrot gets used to this custom, you can put a container of water in the aviary so that it splashes there on its own. If rejection does not occur, put the cage with the parrot in the bath and pour over it from above from the shower. Some owners teach the bird to bathe directly in the bathroom without a cage.
The necklace parrot is able to withstand sudden changes in temperature, however, the most comfortable conditions of detention are 20-25 degrees Celsius and humidity of at least 60%. Parrots are awake for exactly half the day. Therefore, in winter, they need to artificially extend daylight hours with the help of additional lighting, and in summer, on the contrary, cover the cage with a dark cape to provide them with a good rest.
In the same way, they can be calmed if the bird begins to disturb with its unpleasant cry. This feature is present in most representatives of this genus. For example, the Indian ringed parrot often makes sharp and very unpleasant sounds for human perception.
A patient owner is able to eventually wean the bird from this bad habit.
Necklace parrots are valued for their good-natured disposition, the ability to quickly tame and the ability to learn to talk. Parrots of this breed feel great in close proximity to people. Much has been said about their intelligence and learning ability. If you take a young chick up to a year old, then you can teach him to sit on the hand or shoulder of the owner, take food from his hands and some other tricks. But the main thing for which many people choose this particular breed of parrots is to teach them to speak.
To teach a parrot human speech, it is necessary to systematize the learning process. Since this will take more than one day, you need to have endurance and patience. Numerous observations show that best of all, parrots perceive the female and children’s voice timbre, as they have a finer register. Males learn faster than females, but it has been observed that females have much better diction.
The bird can achieve the greatest results if it is kept alone. Individuals living in a pair learn much worse. To get speech success, you need to repeat short phrases to the parrot or 1-2 words every day. Necklace parrots are able to remember up to fifty words.
If you’re planning on training a necklace parrot, it’s best to choose chicks at a young age. The older the bird, the less trainable it is. Up to a year, a bird can be taught not only not to be afraid of hands, but also to memorize whole sentences. But after the age of three, the bird becomes practically untrainable.
Necklace parrots breed perfectly at home. Offspring can be expected from a couple at the age of three years – it is by this age that the physiological development of birds is completely completed. In addition, younger individuals do not incubate eggs well, and when chicks appear, they are poorly cared for. If the bird is old, this is also not very good – it will have weak offspring.
To get offspring, it is necessary to create comfortable conditions for the couple. For their maintenance, it is better to purchase a house with a width of at least 50 cm, a height of 150 cm and an opening for entry with a diameter of 7-10 cm. Something soft must be laid on the bottom – sawdust or peat, creating the illusion of a real nest.
The nesting house should be equipped with a crossbar so that it is convenient for the birds to enter their home. It must be installed a few centimeters below the inlet of the house. If the floor area in the house is too small, the chicks will be crowded, and they may cripple each other. For the entire time that the mating season will last for the birds, they need to be given special vitamins, add more vegetables and fruits to the diet, as well as sprouted grains.
The chicks do not hatch at the same time, and in the same nest, offspring of different ages will be obtained. Sometimes it happens that not all eggs hatch into chicks. Some of them die at the embryonic stage. This can happen if the nest is not clean enough or too shallow.
To control the climatic conditions inside the room where new offspring are bred, it is necessary to arm yourself with a thermometer and a hygrometer to measure humidity. To improve air quality, it is advisable to install an ionizer in the room. Besides, it is necessary to regularly ventilate the room.
Diseases and their prevention
Almost all diseases that appear in necklace parrots arise from improper care. Consider the most common diseases.
- smallpox – manifested in lack of appetite, decreased activity. May be accompanied by vomiting, the appearance of a white coating on the tongue and (or) an abscess on the head.
- Psittacosis It is transmitted through droppings and is manifested by muscle cramps and mucous secretions. Sometimes the disease can cause paralysis. At home, it is less common than in nature.
- Presence of parasitic worms or worms that can be passed on from other individuals. The disease is not treatable, manifested in the refusal of food, inhibited reaction.
- Tracheal mite. Signs – sore throat, sneezing, vomiting.
- Escherichiosis – intestinal infection and changes in its microflora. The disease can occur as a result of stress or due to malnutrition. Manifested in the absence of appetite and apathy.
- Newborn chicks are often diagnosed with eversion of the legs. This is a sign of a nervous system disorder, which may be caused by a lack of vitamin B. Such chicks are not viable.
To reduce the risk of contracting infections and viruses, it is necessary to clean the cage daily: thoroughly wipe all items in it, wash dishes for food and drink, change food and water daily. At the first sign of suspicious bird behavior, you should immediately contact your veterinarian. Before releasing the parrot from the cage, it is necessary to check whether the windows and doors are closed so that the bird does not fly out into the street.
It is desirable to hang the windows so that the parrot does not hit the glass.
In some cases, a sick bird can be recognized already at the stage of purchase. In a healthy individual, the plumage should be shiny and smooth to the touch, and also fit snugly to the body. If the feathers are dirty, bristle in different directions, break, then most likely the bird is not entirely healthy.
Despite the wide variety of species of necklace parrots, they all have a few common features. So, among the advantages of these birds, most owners call beauty and a remarkable mind. A ringed parrot can be taught not only to speak, but also to carry out various commands, which is why everyone, especially children, is madly delighted. Some types of necklace pamper their owners with beautiful singing.
However, if the parrot is not in the best mood, its sharp piercing cry can cause a storm of negativity not only among the household members themselves, but also among the neighbors. In addition, the maintenance of this bird is not cheap: the purchase of an aviary, toys, medicines, vaccinations, trips to the veterinarian, as well as special food can cost a round sum. Also, some owners note that birds make a lot of noise and ruin furniture.
If all these difficulties do not stop you, you should start your acquaintance with this breed by buying an emerald ringed parrot. Most of the reviews about this species are positive. It has been noticed that it is this species that is most trained in human speech and quickly gets used to hands, becoming a full-fledged member of the family.
For information on how to feed a necklace parrot, see the following video.