Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) - Wiki
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[Photo] Parrot found in karnataka, india. Rose-ringed parakeet. Photo Credit: Shiva shankar. Location: Karkala, india. Source: http://flickr.com/photos/shivanayak/25376357/
The Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri), also known as the Ring-necked Parakeet, is a gregarious tropical parakeet species that is popular as a pet. Its scientific name commemorates the Austrian naturalist Wilhelm Heinrich Kramer.
This non-migrating species is one of few parrot species that have successfully adapted to living in 'disturbed habitats', and in that way withstood the onslaught of urbanisation and deforestation. In the wild, this is a noisy species with an unmistakable squawking call. Rose-ringed Parakeets are sexually dimorphic, and adult males sport black markings under their beaks and a dark band of colors around their necks.
Phylogeny and distribution
Four subspecies are recognized, though they do not differ much:
- African Rose-ringed Parakeet (P. krameri krameri): West Africa in Guinea, Senegal and southern Mauretania, east to Western Uganda and Southern Sudan.
- Abyssinian Rose-ringed Parakeet (P. krameri parvirostris): Northwest Somalia, west across northern Ethiopia to Sennar district, Sudan.
- Indian Rose-ringed Parakeet (P. krameri manillensis): Originated from the southern Indian subcontinent; introduced populations worldwide.
- Neumann's Rose-ringed Parakeet (P. krameri borealis): east Pakistan, northern India and Nepal to central Burma; introduced populations worldwide in localities.
A phylogenetic analysis using DNA (see Psittacula) showed that the Mauritius Parakeet (Psittacula echo) is closely related to this species, and probably needs to be placed between the African and Asian subspecies. Consequently, this species is paraphyletic.
In the wild, Rose-ringed Parakeets usually feed on buds, fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries and seeds. Wild flocks also fly several miles to forage in farmlands and orchards causing extensive damage.
The Rose-ringed Parakeet is on average 40 cm (16 inches) long including the tail feathers. Its average single wing length is about 15???17.5 cm (6-7 inches). The tail accounts for a large portion of the length. The Indian Rose-ringed Parakeet, African Rose-ringed Parakeet, Abyssinian Rose-ringed Parakeet and Neumann's Rose-ringed Parakeet measure 42 cm, 40 cm, 40 cm and 43 cm long, respectively.
Feral Rose-ringed Parakeets
The Rose-ringed Parakeet has established feral populations in India, a number of European cities, South Africa and Japan. There are also apparently stable populations in the USA in Florida and California, and a small but self-sustaining population Tehran, Iran, mostly concentrated in the northern parts of city.
The European populations became established during the mid to late 20th Century from introduced and escaped birds. There are two main population centres in Britain: the largest is based around south London, Surrey and Berkshire, and by 2005 consisted of many thousands of birds. A smaller population occurs around Margate and Ramsgate, Kent. Elsewhere in Britain, smaller feral populations have established from time to time (e.g., at Studland, Dorset).
In the Netherlands and Belgium, there exist a network of feral populations numbering 5-6000 each in urbanized areas. In Germany, these birds are found along the Rhine in all major urban areas between Neuss/D??sseldorf and Heidelberg, and in the northeast of Hamburg. Another population is found around Paris.
The birds in these populations represent hybrids, originally between varying numbers - according to locality - of the subspecies manillensis, borealis, and/or (to a lesser extent) krameri.
However, in some parts of South Asia - from where the Rose-ringed Parakeets originated, populations of these birds are decreasing due to trapping for the pet trade. Despite some people's attempts to revive their population by freeing these birds from local markets, the Rose-ringed Parakeet's population has dropped drastically in many areas of the Indian subcontinent.
Rose-ringed Parakeets as pets
These birds where first spotted and identified by the people of India at least 3,000 years ago, later color mutations of Rose-ringed parakeets were also bred. The royals prized them as pets and for their ability to speak. It was a popular status symbol in Indian culture to have a Rose-ringed parakeet. They were the first parrots brought to Europe and the Greeks were the first Europeans to breed them. Socrates is reported to have praised its beauty and ability to speak. The Romans then bred them for pets, and their beauty in their aviaries. In the 1920's aviculturists the popularity of the breed began to increase greatly. Now widely available in the pet trade, Rose-ringed Parakeets continue to gain popularity. Hand-fed Rose-ringed Parakeets are regarded as excellent pets if provided with daily attention, though even parent-raised Rose-ringed Parakeets make good pets when provided with regular handling and attention. They are generally family birds and are less likely to bond to only one person. With adequate attention, handling, and love, a Rose-ringed Parakeet can quickly become a beloved companion.
Rose-Ringed Parakeets are known to have a unique personality among the greater Parakeets. They are very intelligent and very independent. Young birds develop their independent side early in life and at a few months of age will begin to test their limits. This is known as the 'bluffing' stage, as they will suddenly become irritable and bite. It is imperative during this stage that they do not get a reaction out of their bites. Once they learn that they will be left alone if they bite, they will continue on this path towards tameness. When they are young their independent side, in some birds, can result in them becoming territorial of their cage. This is something else that must be carefully dealt with, as if they do not learn that coming out of their cage is a positive event, they will become hard to handle once mature. During this period, it is also important to show the bird plenty of positive interaction and to teach him the basic skills, such as 'step up', 'step down', 'dead bird' and the towel. After sexual maturity, it is much harder to build this parrot-human bond.
They enjoy human company and will be happy to sit on a T-stand and play with toys next to your desk while you are busy at work. This sort of interaction provides him with the stimulation he needs and keeps you in his 'flock'. He will begin to resent attention if it only consists of 30 minutes of active handling a day. Contrary to belief they love to be scratched on their heads and stroked gently. Well loved birds often engage in charming mutual preening behavior with their owners. Their small size makes people tend to compartmentalise them with other avian who dont need much interaction, but in reality unless given lots of companionship they soon become nippy birds and tend to show anger by way of quick bites and screams . They are highly intelligent birds and require a large amount of mental stimulation. Toys that require them to logically solve a puzzle to receive a treat are a must. This is especially important if they do not receive a large amount of human interaction.
They require a relatively tall cage because of their long tails. A Rose-ringed Parakeet who will be spending most of his/her day inside the cage should be kept in a cage about 60 cm (24") wide x 45 cm (18") deep x 90 cm (36") high, though the larger the better, and the bar spacing should be between 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) and 1.875 cm (3/4 inch). Rose-ringed Parakeets are avid chewers and climbers and should therefore be provided with chewing toys in their cages. The cages should be in a place out of direct sunlight and free of drafts. A pet or captive Rose-ringed Parakeet should be kept in a bird-safe environment.
Captive Rose-ringed Parakeets are generally fed a nutritionally balanced diet of pellets and seeds with some vegetables or fruit. It would be wise to rather reduce pellet intake and give them fresh sprouts , seasonal berries and green leafy vegetables like dandelion, green peppers and the like. They should always have access to fresh water in their cages. A daily shower is a must for these tropical beauties. An atomiser can be used to gently mist water, or water can be placed in a shallow bowl on top of the cage. Known for their eternally perfect feather condition, the moisture helps these vivacious birds preen and retain the pristine sheen of their feathers.
The Rose-ringed Parakeet is considered one of the best talking parakeets and can learn a vocabulary of up to 250 words. The speech clarity can be pretty amazing and they have a habit of practising until perfect and then shocking their owners with an accurately uttered word. Now these birds come in many mutations, including the common green, blue, grey and lutino among many other colors.
Just like all Parrots these little ones have personalities different from one another and tend to be varied in color as in character. In short this Jewel of Asia in indeed a prized member of the avian family and a joy to behold providing years of delight to everyone lucky enough to meet one.
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