The Indian Ring-necked Parakeet originates from southern India. Its closest cousin – the African Ringneck Parakeet – is found in West Africa to Southern Sudan. It is one of four recognized subspecies of Ring-necked Parakeets – and is the most commonly kept in captivity. These elegant and beautiful birds can make good pets for pet owners who are willing to provide ongoing obedience training. If not given sufficient attention, the Indian Ring Neck may become unfriendly and disobedient. In order to maintain their friendly personalities and tameness, regular handling and socialization are a must for these birds. The plumage of the Indian Ring Neck is apple green, although mutations in a range of other colors also exist. This includes buttercup yellow and the increasingly popular powder blue.
Indian Ringnecks originated in Sri Lanka. Their extensive native range now includes Pamban or Rameswaram Island (an island located between India and Sri Lanka), the Indian sub-continent, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, as well as the Burmese region to Cochinchina (the southern third of Vietnam. They are common throughout most of their natural range
They originally lived in semi-desert, wooded or forested areas; but have also adapted well to human-modified habitats, such as farmlands, cultivated agricultural areas and parks and gardens in villages and towns. The social Indian Ringnecks often congregate in large, noisy flocks at favorite roosting sites. Like all parrots, they are noisiest in the mornings and evenings.
The Indian Ringneck Parakeet is a medium-sized parrot that measures between 14 – 17 inches (36 – 43 cm) in length – about half of which are the long tail feathers alone. The wings are 6 – 7 inches (153 – 180 mm) long. They weigh between 4 – 5 oz (115 – 140 grams). This parakeet has a long tail and a hooked beak. The upper beak is orangey-red with a black tip; the lower bill is blackish with a paler tip. The irises are pale yellow. The legs and feet are ashy-slate to greenish-slate. The original plumage coloration (and the color mostly found in the wild within their natural range) is green with a yellowish or bluish-grey hue to the lighter-colored under plumage. The nape (back of a bird’s neck) shows a blue suffusion that can at times extend to the back of the head. The outer tail feathers are green. The blue central tail feathers have yellowish-green tips. There is a black stripe running through the chin area. Thirty or more striking and beautiful color varieties have been bred in captivity, such as lutino (yellow) and blue varieties, albinos, violets, olives and pieds.
Indian Ringnecks reach reproductive maturity when they are about 1 – 1 1/2 years old. However, they may not breed until they are 2 to 4 years old. Females may successfully start breeding as early as 1 year and males at 2 years. These beautiful parakeets are generally hardy once established in an aviary. They are generally good parents and can be a good choices for those wishing to start breeding larger birds. Since they don’t form close pair bonds, they are easy to pair up, split up and re-pair, if necessary. The fact that they come in a wide array of beautiful mutation colors is also a big draw for breeders.
In the wild, Ringnecked Parakeets mostly feed on seeds, grains, blossoms, fruits, berries, greens, vegetables, berries, nuts and even nectar. Flocks of them often forage on farmlands and orchards and are by many farmers considered “crop pests”. They also take advantage of bird feeders in urban gardens. Especially during the breeding season, the adults and their young have a higher requirement for protein and, therefore, increase their consumption of insects (including beetles), mealworm larvae and pupa. Captive Diet Ringnecks should be fed a wide variety of foods. A high quality dry food mix that contains seeds, grains and nuts should be available at all times – a Small Hookbill or Cockatiel should be suitable for them. Clean, fresh water for drinking and bathing should also be provided. Their diet should also include a good amount of leafy dark greens and vegetables (i.e. chard, kale, carrots, corn, celery, squash), as well as fruits (i.e., applies, grapes, pears, persimmons, pomegranates, figs, grapes, bananas). Wild-picked green foods such as chickweed, seeding grass, dandelion (flowers, roots and leaves), shepherds-purse and sow-thistle make excellent additions to a healthy diet. Some nutritious human foods, such as cooked beans, cooked chicken, wholegrain rice also add variety to their diet. Germinated or sprouted seeds are especially important for the breeding season. They should be fed fresh making sure that it is not contaminated by bacteria or molt. It should have a sweet smell. If it smells foul or sour, discard. Frequent rinsing will help prevent spoilage. Sprouting: The Easy Way. Calcium supplements, such as cuttlefish, shell grit, crushed oyster shell or calcium blocks should be available – particularly during the breeding season.