Mallee Ringneck Parrots / Barnard's Parakeets
The Mallee Ringnecks (Barnardius zonarius barnardi or Barnardius barnardi) - also known as the Mallee Parrots -- are native to south-eastern Australia (Queensland to South Australia). They are common in mallee scrub, open woodlands, where they blend extremely well with their surroundings. They are often seen in pairs or family groups feeding in branches or shrubs.
These parrots all have a green body and a yellow ring or collar around their necks and are referred to as Australian Ringnecks.
This parrot averages 12.2 - 13.75 ins. (33 - 35 cm) in length.
Overall plumage is green; crown and sides to head bright green, cheeks with slight bluish tinge; red band to forehead; nape olive-brown with adjoining yellow collar on back of neck; lower back blue-black; breast and abdomen turquoise with a variable orange-yellow band; bend of wing blue becoming blue-green on lesser wing-coverts; greater wing-coverts yellowish-green; secondaries (shorter, upper "arm" feathers) dull green; primaries (longest wing feathers) and primary wing feathers dark blue; under wing-coverts blue; middle tail-feathers dark green with blue tips, outer feathers blue with pale tips; bill grey-whitish; narrow periophthalmic ring grey; iris dark brown; feet grey.
Females have a paler plumage; back and lower back dark grey-green; under wing-coverts greyish; pale under-wing stripe usually visible.
Immatures with duller plumage than female; nape and back of crown brownish; blue to cheeks usually more extensive; back and lower back grey-green; under-wing stripe usually present.
Ringneck parrots are less demanding than other parrot species, which makes them an excellent choice for someone who wants to "step up" from an easy-going and easy-care cockatiel or budgie.
Consistent training and behavioral guidance from a young age is recommended to ensure potential owners enjoy a bird free of destructive and annoying habits.
Behavioral challenges that ringnecks present include:
- Chewing: Any parrot will chew. In nature, they use their beak to "customize" their favorite tree, to enlarge the size of their nest in a tree hollow. Doing this keeps their beaks in good condition. The problem is excessive and undesirable chewing. Undisciplined ringnecks may chew on electric wiring potentially causing house fires. The owner needs to provide plenty of "healthy" chewing opportunities (bird toys, natural wood branches, etc.) and training is necessary to teach a parrot what is "off-limits."
- Jealousy / Aggression: The ringneck parrots can be jealous of other family members and pets. They can develop a bond with only one human and refuse to interact with other people, even attacking them in some cases. Although this is a small bird it does not seem to believe so, and will attack larger birds and even dogs if it feels it or its human is threatened. Owners should be cautious in multiple-pet homes. Continuing to socialize the hand reared pet bird from a young age and letting many people handle and interact with it can prevent single-person bonding and allow it to become an excellent family pet.
- Noise: They can be noisy - albeit not as noisy as their larger cousins. Not everybody can tolerate the natural call of a ringneck parrot, and even though it can't (or should not) be entirely eliminated, there are ways to discourage screaming / screeching in your pet. Ringnecks are known for their talking and whistling ability, and teaching and encouraging your pet to talk is one way to reduce undesirable screeching in your pet.
Continuous obedience training is recommended ...
- AvianWeb Resources: I put together web resources for you to help you understand your pet bird and properly direct him. Please visit this website for valuable tips on parrot behavior and training. If you found a way to resolve a "parrot behavioral issue" please share it with others.
- If you are, as I am, a visual learner and prefer step-by-step instructions to train your pet, I recommend:
- Procuring your Parrot
- Click here for a Breeders Listing
- Ringnecks love to climb and play and need to be provided with a cage that allows them to move around freely and toys to entertain themselves with. Info on Housing Your Bird
- The 3 Key Elements to Your Pet Bird's Happiness and Health
- Training Your Bird
- Bird Nutrition
- Parrot Products
They are not beginner birds. An intermediate to advanced knowledge of parrot breeding is recommended.
These parrots spend considerable time preparing the choosing and preparing the nesting site. They line the bottom of the tree hollow with decaying wood dust and make a shallow depression for the eggs.
The courting male chatters constantly while crouching in front of the female, with his tail fanned and moving quickly from side to side. During this mating display, he squares his shoulders and wings and vibrates them slightly.
They are aggressive towards other birds, and it's best to house them one pair per aviary. The minimum aviary size should be about 10 feet (3 meters) in length and 3 to 3.5 feet (about one meter) wide. Double wiring between each aviary flight is necessary. Non-toxic leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up. This will entertain the birds and give the birds some beak exercise. Natural branches of various diameters, and placed at various angles, make great perches.
They require a quality parrot seed mix along with a variety of fruits, green leafy vegetables and vegetables. Seeding grasses and green can be offered.
Sprouted or germinated seeds are usually more easily accepted by "seed addicts" than fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Sprouted seeds are healthier as the sprouting changes and enhances the nutritional quality and value of seeds and grains. Sprouted seeds are lower in fat, as the process of sprouting utilizes the fat in the seed to start the growing process - thus reducing the fat stored in the seeds.
- Sprouted seeds will help balance your bird’s diet by adding a nutritious supply of high in vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll.
- Soaked and germinated "oil" seeds, like niger and rape seeds, are rich in protein and carbohydrates; while "starch" seeds, such as canary and millets, are rich in carbohydrates, but lower in protein.
- It is an invaluable food at all times; however, it is especially important for breeding or molting birds. Sprouted seeds also serve as a great rearing and weaning food as the softened shell is easier to break by chicks and gets them used to the texture of seeds.
- For more on parrot nutrition, please click here.
Dimensions are average and can vary widely, influenced by the bird's and the owner's preferences. Parent bird's preferences can be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which they have been raised. Offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, will allow the parent birds to make their own choice. Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season. Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed.
All Australian parrots will breed in hollow logs. Sturdy logs are recommended. The length of a nest box / log should approximate 24 inches. A log's internal diameter about 6-5 to 8 inches; and the internal diameters of a nest box about 7 inches square. The inspection hole should be around 4 inches (square or round). A removable top / lid is recommended for easy inspections and for cleaning. The best location for the nest box / log is high in the covered part of the aviary, but not too close to the roof to be affected by heat from the roof in the summer months.
The hen lays usually four to six white eggs, which she incubates for 20-21 days. The young fledge when they are about 30 days old.
The young should be removed from the parent birds after they have become fully independent to avoid possible aggression from a parent bird and to allow the adult pair to possibly start another clutch.
- Please visit this webpage for more detailed information on breeding.
Diet / Feeding:
Their natural diet includes seeds of grasses, herbs, fruit, blossoms, leaf buds and insects and larvae.
Ringneck Parrots are generally hardy birds. However, the following diseases have been reported in this species:
- Aspergillosis (fungal disease)
- Bacterial infections (pneumonia)
- Hypovitaminosis A
Species: Scientific: Platycercus barnardi barnardi aka Barnardius barnardi barnardi ... English: Mallee Ringneck Parrot, Barnard's Parakeet ... Dutch: Barnards Parkiet, Barnards Rosella ... German: Barnardsittich, Gelbnackensittich ... French: Rosella de Barnard
Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate: macgillivrayi, whitei, barnardi
CITES II - Endangered Species
Distribution: South Australia
Description: As Mallee Ringneck Parrots (Barnard's Parakeets, barnadi) top photo to the right, but with variable plumage as this sub-species hybridises with B.b. barnardi as well as with the Port Lincoln Parrot (Barnardius zonarius) in Flinders Ranges; however, generally with duller plumage, especially to breast and abdomen where turquoise absent; back and lower back grey-green to dark green, sometimes with dark blue tinge. Female with paler plumage as female of B. b barnardi. ... Length: 35 cm (13.75 ins)
Species: Scientific: Platycercus barnardi whitei aka Barnardius barnardi whitei ... English: Paler Mallee Ringneck Parrot ... Dutch: Barnards Parkiet van Lake Eyre ... German: Blasser Barnardsittich, Lake Eyre Barnardsittich ... French: Rosella de White
CITES II - Endangered Species
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