Indian Ringneck parrots are native to India and a range of central African countries. They inhabit a range of forest types as well as lightly wooded grasslands. They are one of the few parrots that has adapted well to urbanisation and escaped pets have established populations in a range of European countries.
Ringnecks have a large geographical distribution so the wild diet varies between countries and continents. That said they are herbivorous and feed on a range of seeds, cereals, fruits, dates and occasionally buds. While a parrot seed mix or parrot pellets provides a sufficient base for their diet, fruits and vegetables are required to ensure the birds receive all their required essential nutrients and have enough variety to prevent them becoming bored. Suitable fruits and vegetables include: apples, pears, grapes and oranges; corn on the cob, carrot and celery; pine nuts or peanuts can be feed on rare occasions as a treat. Sources of calcium such as cuttlefish or shell grit are also made available particularly prior and during breeding.
Click the play button below to hear what an Indian Ringneck Parrot sounds like.
Unlike smaller parrots ringnecks tend to breed seasonally and only produce a single clutch. Birds begin to form pairs in the winter months during which they will begin selecting and defending nest sites. Like most parrots they naturally nest in tree hollows so in captivity nest boxes are provided. The parent’s nest preferences are thought to be influenced by the environment in which it was raised so a range of next boxes are provided for the birds to select from. Once a pair has selected a nest box they are likely to use the same in following seasons.
Ringneck clutches contain 4-6 eggs which hatch after a 21-26 day incubation. The young fledge after a further 7-8 weeks and become fully independent at 12 weeks of age. Ringnecks are considered to be attentive parents and have lower rates of infanticide compared to other species of parrots kept as pets.
Like most parrots, ringnecks are intelligent and require stimulation to avoid becoming bored and developing self-destructive behaviours. Ringnecks like to chew to maintain beak health so one simple method is to provide a range of barked branches for them to shred. Plants native to the bird’s home range are used where possible, however many other species are suitable including many trees native to New Zealand and Australia.
Ringnecks are highly visual animals using their colour vision to spot fruits and seeds at a distance. To encourage natural foraging behaviours, fruit and vegetables are ‘hidden’ around the enclosure for the birds to find. Artificial methods of foraging enrichment, such as the use of pine cones, are also used to keep birds entertained.
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