The Indian Ringnecks are my favorite of the numerous species in the Psittacula genus. Their plumage is breathtakingly lovely. The buttercup yellow of the Lutinos, the gorgeous blue tones ranging from powder to dark, even the clear, crisp green of the normals, the unusual turquoise and grays – all are as wonderful. In addition to their eye-catching hues, their plumage is so delicate, velvety, and smooth that it is impossible not to reach out to touch and stroke one.
HISTORY AND ORIGINS
The Indian Ringneck is a subspecies of the Ringneck Parakeet, Psittacula krameri, which belongs to the Asian Parakeet family. Rose Ringed Parakeets are another name for them for those of us who get tangled up in Latin classifications.
The Indian Ringneck has two subspecies: Psittacula krameri borealis and Psittacula krameri manillensis. Both of these species have remarkably similar coloring with very minor variances. The borealis is the more aggressive of the two birds, as well as being somewhat bigger. My obsession is with the most well-known and commonly accessible P.K. manillensis.
Indian Ringnecks have been around for millennia. Their primary countries of origin include India, Burma, and portions of Central and North Eastern Africa. They were imported into Europe hundreds of years ago, and the ancient Greeks knew what they were. They were referenced by Archimedes two hundred years ago and have been known in the United Kingdom for at least two hundred years. Alfred Ezra brought numerous specimens there in the 1920s, and the first Lutino was created in 1934. He discovered that affluent Indian Princes were prepared to pay a high price for alterations.
Blue Ringnecks were first recorded in the literature in the 1920s, when they were housed in gold cages in Calcutta, India. The blue mutant remains more uncommon than the lutino and hence more costly. It is no longer considered an uncommon mutation since it is being produced in greater quantities.
There is a strong probability that cobalt blue, mauve, and violet will be developed and added to the growing list of mutations. Turquoise, Cinnamon, Pied, Gray, Albino, and Cream are among the colors that have previously occurred. A new generation of Indian Ringnecks has arrived. The prospect of discovering one of these unusual mutations in our own aviaries is a fascinating one.
In India and Africa, the Ringneck is still one of the most common and well-known wild birds. They may be found in open country, agricultural regions, and even cities and villages, where they perch on temple and house roofs. They survive on eating seeds, fruits, and berries. Small groups of birds may often descend on grain fields or orchards, wreaking havoc on the crops. They make their nests in holes in trees or buildings. Nesting colonies are sometimes spotted around a temple or home, swooping in and out of the eaves like swallows.
The Indian Ringneck is around fifteen inches long, which makes it somewhat bigger than a Cockatiel. The additional length is provided by the bird’s two center tail feathers. They feature beautiful and thin proportions that seem to blend well with their pastel hues.
The average man has a gentle green color, brightest on the cheekbones and yellowish below. Its color ring begins at the throat and extends outward and downward around the neck. The broadest part of a black ring is when it meets the lower jaw. Two half rings follow the black ring, one light rose and the other powder blue. These hues offer just the perfect pops of color to the otherwise all-green palette. A black line runs from the cere to the eye, and the center tail feathers have a little blue hue. The top jaw has a dark red color, while the lower mandible is black with dark red patterns. The iris is yellowish white or yellowish orange, with dark gray feet. Males typically attain adult plumage around two and a half years of age, although some have been seen doing so as early as eighteen months.
The regular female is little smaller and less vibrant in color, but she is still a wonderful shade of green. She simply has a thin black line running from her cerebrum to her eye. The male’s distinctive multicolored collar is missing, yet a faint green collar may be seen under careful inspection.
The male Lutino is a pure, vivid buttercup yellow. His eyes are pink, his feet are fleshy, and his bill is crimson. The ring around his neck ranges from rose pink to peach, making him a wonderfully stunning bird. The female Lutino is identical to the male, but lacks the colorful ring at maturity.
Males with the blue mutation are powder blue, with the hue most prominent on the top and forehead. Their neck ring is a drab white or gray with a clean white edging. This combo complements their hue well. The beak is bright red, while the feet are gray. The female is all blue and has no collar.
The Albino Ringneck has a snow-white body with a pink beak and eyes. In this mutation, both sexes are devoid of the ring collar. The Cream Albino has bone white fur and crimson eyes. A light buff with yellow lacing on the wings and a yellow forehead has also been created.
Turquoise is a green bird with a blue overlay that changes color based on the angle of light reaching the bird. Gray is an extremely rarer evolution of almost black, resulting in a silvery gray tint. There is also a gray-green that is nearly khaki in color, which is not as appealing as the others but is important in breeding.
RINGNECKS AS PETS
Ringnecks are great pets in addition to their spectacular beauty, which adds a unique touch to any household. They don’t need as big a cage as other of our exotic birds. They will need a space that is 18 inches by 18 inches by 24 inches. They are an excellent alternative for either the pet owner or the breeder looking for a “step up” from Cockatiels or Budgies. They live for an average of twenty to thirty years. Several claims of people living to be fifty years old have been verified.
For ages, the Ringnecks have been recognized for their capacity to communicate. Because the Brahmins saw their clear and persuasive mimicry of human speech as proof of their sacredness, ancient Indian law protected them from being slain. They were instructed to welcome the Emperor with “Hail Caesar!” back in Roman days, much to his joy.
Even while hand feeding, our infant Ringnecks often respond, “Yum! Yum! Good!” Their usual clarity of speech is highly astounding and a pleasure to the owner. These birds’ vocabulary has been claimed to be as large as 250 words. Not every bird is capable of reaching this level, and not every owner has the time and patience to devote to it.
Males seem to be better pets and talkers than females, according to popular belief. My personal experience, as well as those of others, is entirely different. As with many birds, the particular bird’s personality and the quantity of care it gets are significantly more important than its sex. Because juvenile birds are sluggish to develop their final colors, sex cannot be determined definitively by plumage until the bird reaches maturity. A hand-fed infant, acquired soon after weaning and given daily care by the owner, will be a loyal and satisfying companion regardless of gender.
Ringnecks, more than other birds, do not tolerate prolonged neglect. They quickly become chilly and inhospitable when just minimal services are provided for times as little as a week. To preserve the link with the owner, they demand on being let out of the cage, spoken to, and played with on a regular basis.
This species is capable of very powerful and quick flight. They may fly by one with a rushing sound and barely be seen before disappearing with full flying feathers. To avoid loss or permanent harm to our pets, it is especially important to have the primary flying feathers, at least the first six, cut on a regular basis.
Ringneck feeding is a straightforward process. They are not mainly seed eaters in the wild, but instead seek for seasonal fruits and vegetables. We feed cockatiel seed mix that is replenished daily with vegetables and fruit. In our aviaries, we use a crock pot to cook a variety of beans and cracked corn, along with other veggies such as peas and carrots, and any chopped up fruits that are in season. The birds like this somewhat sloppy-looking mixture. Small cans of comparable food, or leftovers from your own meals, can be blended with available fresh fruits with similarly excellent results for the owner of a single pet. Fresh or thawed frozen corn on the cob is a favorite that may be offered on a daily basis.
If you are extremely choosy in what you serve, tidbits from the table are acceptable for your pet. Avoid foods high in fat or sugar, sweets, coffee, and alcoholic or fizzy drinks. Small quantities of cheese or lean meats like white chicken or turkey meat are healthy snacks. A “little quantity” for your Ringneck is no more than half a teaspoon of such things every day. Fruits and vegetables are limitless and should be used in place of sweets.
Whether you are a pet owner or a breeder – or both, as is so frequently the case – may your experience with these magnificent birds be very gratifying.
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