We don't often have articles on birds native to India. This bird is truly a sight for sore eyes. Also known as the rose-ringed parakeet, the Indian Ringneck Parrot is small in size, but in no way does that translate into a shortage of beauty. Predominantly covered by a smooth minty green plumage, the birds have long bluish green tails and wings that are splashed with a touch of the same blue. The difference between the males and females is simple. Males have more color. Males have a black collar and a band of pinkish feathers coming around the back of the neck. They also have a dollop of blue near the back of the head. Females lack the bands of color, but they do sometimes have a pale hint of color resembling a band at the neck. The beak color of both males and females is similar, with a red or orange upper half and a grayish black lower half. They eyes are yellow.
This is a rather small bird so it is actually more likely to be in the category of parakeet. It ranges between 14-18 inches in length and weighs a little less than half of a pound. It is becoming quite popular as a pet here in the United States as it is small and doesn't need as large an area of space in one's home as do the larger parrots. It does not have the best reputation in regards to trainability. This bird is a great companion bird, but only to those people with plenty of time for the bird. It requires many several hours daily of human contact and training. Without adequate physical contact with and mental stimulation from humans, you run the risk of your bird becoming “wild” and unmanageable. This is true for all birds, but for some reason it's especially true for the Indian Ringneck Parrot. With a lifespan of anywhere from 20-30 or more years, this means lots of time must be spent with your bird. If you are a bird lover, this should be no problem at all.
Having been in captivity for a very long time, Indian Ringnecks actually have many color mutations created by humans. Besides the original green variety, there are several other pastel colors, such as yellow and blue, with variations on the tones and intensity of these colors. There is even a much sought after albino version.
In India, these birds thrived anywhere from forests to places almost desert like. Now that the birds are widely distributed and breed all over the world, they have established colonies in the wild many places. They have adapted well to farmland and cities. This bird is nowhere near the endangered species list. It's numbers are swelling as we speak.
The Ringneck's diet in the wild is typical of most parakeets. Nuts, fruits, seeds, insects, plant material, and a list of other things. In captivity, a nice wholesome pellet supplemented with some yummy seed and fresh foods, such as fruits, veggies, and cooked beans will make for a healthy bird. Always remember to offer food and water in fresh clean bowls every day.