Ring-necked Parakeet

Psittacula krameri

38-42cm

Appearance

The tail is distinctively long and pointy, and the plumage is predominately green. The sexes are slightly different. Males have dark flight feathers, a pinkish ring around the neck, the dark-red bill is hooked, and the tail and nape have a bluey shine. The eye has a red ring and the throat is black. The female resembles the male, but she isn't marked on her neck or throat. The juvenile is similar to the female, but is yellowish and has a shorter tail.

Habitat

In the wild populations of India, the bird lives in a variety of habitats from jungle to cities. In Britain it tends towards the suburbs, parklands and orchards.

Character

This is a fast flier that moves the wings very quickly, though it can seem quite sluggish when walking. Socialises in small groups and occasionally large flocks. Male grooms the head of the female during courtship.

Food

When in India, diet consists of buds, fruit, cereals, grains and seeds. British diet includes apples, pears, cherries, hawthorn berries, peanuts and sunflower seeds.

Breeding

Laying occurs between January and June, in pairs or as part of a colony. Female lays 3 or 4 eggs which she incubates for 22-24 days. Young can fly after approximately 40-50 days, and stay with adults for a few weeks.

Population

Not migratory in its native habitat. There are more than 8600 pairs in England.

Observation Tips

This alien species is now established in the region. It isn't difficult to find along the Thames/M4 area, and it is a lively sight against the back drop of the industrial areas that are in the vicinity of Heathrow. The bird's call often gives away its presence before it is seen.

Voice

Utters a piercing 'keey-ack' call, regularly heard while in the air or perched.
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