Scientific name: Psittacula krameri manillensis
Life span: 15-25 years
Country of origin: India, Sri Lanka and Indo Burmese region to Cochin-China
Pet owner knowledge required: Beginner/Intermediate/Advance
Breeder knowledge required: Beginner/Intermediate/Advance
Description:The Indian Ringneck is a medium-sized bird with a hooked beak and long tail. They are dimorphic birds(males differ in appearance to females), where the male has a black ring around the neck, with pink and blue outer rings. This ring is usually a thin grey line in females, but is sometimes difficult to see. The male's ring can take up to 2 years to develop, with full adult plumage taking up to 3 years. Therefore young birds require surgical or DNA sexing if the gender is required before the bird matures. In some colour mutations the ring is not as evident on the male as the normal "wildtype" colour. Wild Indian Ringnecks are a rich green colour and have a red beak with a black tip on the upper mandible. Juvenile birds lack the black ring, pink collar, or blue tint on the back of the head. They also have a coral pink beak with a pale tip. They reach their adult plumage after their second full molt (at about 3 years of age). They are approx. 38-42 cm in length, where the tail may make up half of the total body length. They weigh approx. 130-140g.
Indian Ringnecks as aviary birds: Indian Ringnecks are one of the most widely held parrots in Australia. They are hardy birds in captivity. They are striking birds to watch in flight and are good birds for those wanting to start breeding larger parrots. Indian Ringnecks are relatively easy to breed and reach sexual maturity at about 1 1/2 years of age, but may not breed until they are 2-3 years old, and it is recommended to start breeding birds of this age. They are generally good parents and are best kept as one pair per aviary, as they can become aggressive during breeding season. Because of this Indian Ringnecks are not suitable for a mixed collection with other species. Unlike most parrots, Indian Ringnecks are not monogamous and do not form life long bonds with their mate. In Australia, the breeding season usually begins September/October. The average clutch size is 3 to 5 eggs and the hen incubates the eggs for 21-24 days. Young Ringnecks usually fledge when they are about 7-8 weeks old and take another 3-4 weeks to be fully weaned.
Indian Ringneck Mutations: There are many beautiful mutations of the Indian Ringneck as these birds are able to create a range of colours and more than 30 mutations exist today. The more common colour mutations are yellow (lutino), white (albino), blue, grey, grey-green, cinnamon (pale green) and cinnamon blue (sky blue). Rarer colours include creamino, violet single/double factor (darker) and cobalt. Other mutations (and combination mutations) include lacewing, pied, clear head/clear tail and buttercup to name a few.
Indian Ringnecks as pets: The Indian Ringneck is a very intelligent bird and does make an entertaining pet. They can be taught to speak, whistle, perform tricks and mimic other sounds (both sexes seem just as good at this), however they can be very vocal and quite loud, so not best suited to an apartment or flat. Indian Ringnecks have stable personalities and can cope with minimal attention during busy times, but this does not mean they are content to be left alone. These birds have a reputation of being difficult to keep and breeders or pet store owners who have had little experience with tamed Ringnecks are usually quick to point out that Indian Ringnecks make unsuitable pets. This is not entirely true, although they can be more challenging than the more common types of pet parrots. The Indian Ringneck must be handled consistently in order to remain tame. Through constant interaction they can become as tame as any other parrot species, but may quickly revert to their wild behavior if ignored or deprived of human contact for extended periods. In general, Indian Ringnecks are not affectionate by nature and as mentioned do not form strong partner bonds. During the breeding season they do become affectionate and demand it in return. They are not as affectionate as some well known pet parrots, however there are always those individuals that are an exception to the rule. It is important to understand that these parrots have personalities much like humans and every bird is an individual. Even though it is said that Indian Ringnecks do not like being petted, they do still need and crave social interaction other than petting, such as communication, training, playing games and so on.
"Bluffing": This is one of the most important notes to read before buying an Indian Ringneck. Bluffing is when the bird goes through a period of aggression. This stage is natural and is a critical learning period for your Indian Ringneck. There are three main suggestions for this behaviour. One is that the young bird is experiencing a surge of hormones that causes aggression. Another is that it helps the young bird to learn what is safe and what is dangerous. The last is that it helps prevent inbreeding (as mentioned they are not monogamous birds). Bluffing can last from a couple of days up to several months, however it sometimes does not occur at all and is often reported more in females than males (this does not mean that males make better pets than females as females often form stronger bonds with their owner, are more loyal and often like to be patted and cuddled!). It usually occurs after the bird has been weaned and sometimes occurs within days or weeks of entering their new home. Often you will see their eyes pin (when the pupil constricts to a tiny dot) and you may receive nasty bites. The best way to deal with bluffing is to interact with the bird like you would normally do. Bluffing should be completely ignored, even though this seems easier said than done at times. If the bird bites you, do not make it a big deal and ignore the advances. You must never yell or hit your bird during this stage, or ofcourse at any other time for that matter. Do not wave your hand, flick the bird's beak or use a spray bottle as a deterant as the bird will not understand this as a form of punishment and may they become aggressive and fearful of you. It is best to gradually let your ringneck know that biting is not acceptable and doing this will get no reaction. They need to feel confident enough to trust you and need time to let their hormones settle down.
Contact us to see if an Indian Ringneck is the right pet for you!