Rose-ringed Parakeets: Description, Character, Lifespan, Colors, Diet

The rose-ringed parakeets or Indian ringneck parrots (Psittacula krameri) are exotic birds and belong to the Psittacidae family in the order Psittaciformes. They were brought to Europe in 330 BC. by the Macedonian king, Alexander the Great. Rose-ringed parakeets are native to Asia and Africa and can be seen near forests, parks or arid environments of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Nepal.

They have also adapted well to human-modified environments, such as cultivated agricultural areas, gardens, and farmland. In India, these birds were considered sacred beings when religious leaders began to recognize their ability to imitate human language.

Rose-ringed parakeets were kept by Indian royalty and were admired for their captivating characters and beautiful colors. They can also be found in urban areas too. These parakeets established colonies in different areas of the world such as the United Kingdom, Florida, California, South America, Hawaii, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Australia, etc. Poultry farmers began raising captive Ringnecks in the 1920s. Their beautiful colors and medium size make them a good choice for many bird owners.

Description Of Rose-ringed Parakeets

Rose-ringed parakeets or Psittacula krameri manillensis measures between 14-17 inches (36-43 cm) in length, including tail feathers. The bodyweight of adult males and females is around 0.25-0.30 pounds (116-140 grams). These long-tailed parakeets are actually parrots. Indian Ringnecks are hook-billed birds, which makes them true members of a family of parrots.

Wild rose-ringed parakeets are usually green in color, with shades of turquoise blue and black and rose-colored rings around the neck of the males. They are very sociable birds and, in the wild, they live in flocks of up to 15,000 individuals. They are very good flyers. They build their nests in tree hollows and cliff crevices.

Its green plumage color is the perfect camouflage on trees or pastures. Rose-ringed parakeets are available in several beautiful color mutations, from bright yellow, blue, green to albino. These birds are sexually dimorphic, which means that their gender can be determined by their markings or the color of their feathers. The males have an intense red beak, black facial markings and three colored bands around the neck. They also have a bluish tint on the neck.

Females do not have facial marks or neck rings, even if some have a faint color band around the neck. The beak has a curved shape, which helps the bird to climb and break the nutshells.

The color of the eyes is pale yellow with the brown-black pupil. The legs, feet, and claws have a bluish-gray color.

Young parakeets have the same color as females, but a matte shade of feathers. They do not have the color of the gray-green band around the neck. It will appear only around two years. The color of the young parakeet’s eyes is brownish-black, after a few months it will turn yellow. The color of the beak is light red.

Character Of Rose-ringed Parakeets

Rose-ringed parakeets are considered extraordinary talkers, their only rivals are the Quakers, the Grays, and the Amazonian parrots. A rose-ringed parakeet can learn about 250 words that can speak with amazing clarity. They are good imitators, they reproduce different types of human sounds and voices. Some of these very well trained birds are able to have verbal communication with you.

They will start talking about seven months or about a year. It is important to understand that not all Ringneck parakeets will learn to imitate human speech. Both males and females can talk, but males seem to be more talented.

They are extremely intelligent birds, they need many toys and a very strong relationship with humans to prevent behavioral problems. Rose-ringed parakeets that are properly cared for, generally have sweet and lovely personalities and can be tame pets.

Ringnecks are talkative birds, especially when they learn to speak. In general, rose-ringed parakeets are not affectionate birds by nature (like other species of parrots), so it is very important to understand that each parrot has its own personality, just like humans. These birds love to play very often and get bored very easily. All you can do is make sure there are toys, pieces of wood (from which they can nibble) and tree branches available for them.

They often manifest wild behavioral characteristics, which we generally cannot see in dogs or cats, which is why they are considered wild animals. In the wild, if a member of a flock will learn a new skill, the other members will copy that new skill, because it plays an important role in their survival.

Wild parrots should always be ready to protect their territory, to find food and water, to avoid raptors, to defend their partner and transmit these qualities to their descendants.

So, if you decide to bring a parrot as a pet into your home, you will have to know that you must dedicate time, patience and affection, every day to your bird. Your bird will need to learn to cooperate, tolerate environmental changes and accept veterinary care.

He/she has to develop a strong sense of their own personality, otherwise, if a bird does not learn to clean itself or play when it is alone, after all, it will decide that the owner can satisfy all kinds of their needs. You will have to guide your bird towards acceptable behavior, because it is much easier to prevent bad behaviors, instead of changing them.

Because in the wild, parrots used to live in tree holes, it is very important to offer them wooden sticks to chew them. Parrots generally represent a very long-term responsibility and are not the perfect choice for everyone.

They could be destructive and noisy and are behaving naughty because they want attention. If he/she starts screaming to get attention and you yell back at the bird, then what you have done is reinforce the bird’s bad behavior.

Some people think that their bird will bite them. The bird will not bite you while you try to manipulate it using your hands and fingers in a friendly and calm way. People used to react when the bird wants to step on its finger by grabbing it with its beak and people think that the bird will bite and move their finger away.

But all he/she wants is to step on your finger because he thinks it’s a tree branch. If you pull your finger away, it will grab and hold your finger with its beak and you will reinforce the bird for another bad habit and the bird will realize that if he/she grabs your finger, it will cause another reaction, another drama.

Therefore, you should use positive reinforcement for behavior that does not result in biting. Do not forget that they have the potential to become very cuddly and devoted birds, and tend to become attached to their owners. Parrots can also produce a powder as a substance, which helps them clean and protect their feathers, but it can cause allergies to humans.

Lifespan Of Rose-ringed Parakeets

In captivity, birds can live much longer than in the wild, with the condition that they get all the necessary nutrition and care they need. Even in captivity, lack of food, an incomplete diet and inadequate care of parakeets could lead to a considerably shorter lifespan. A rose-ringed parakeet’s average lifespan is up to 30 years.

Subspecies Of Rose-ringed Parakeets

Psittacula Krameri Borealis

These parakeets originate from Pakistan, North of India, Indochina, Vietnam, South-East of China. These types of Parakeets have green feather color, red bill and larger in size. Males present a bluish tint on the back of their heads.

Psittacula Krameri Manillensis

Originates from the South of India and Ceylon. They are similar to Borealis but the lower mandible is black and at males, the facial marks and the pink collar are more noticeable.

Psittacula Krameri Kramer

Originates from the West of Africa, islands of Cape Verde, Senegal, and Nigeria. It is similar in coloration as Indian Ringneck, but the facial markings and the rose collar is less prominent. Smaller beak, the upper mandible is dark red and almost black on the tip. They have a shorter body, but the tail is longer.

Psittacula Krameri Parvirostris

Originates from Abyssinia and Sudan. They are similar to krameri, but the head and the cheeks are greener, the beak is smaller with the brighter red upper mandible.

Color Mutation

A color mutation refers to a rose-ringed parakeet whose plumage presents a different color than you would normally find in the wild. Most colors have been established in captivity: light-green, dark-green, green-violet, yellow, violet, violet-blue, olive, grey, blue, albino, etc…


Lutino has appeared in India in 1932. The male is bright yellow with red-eye and beak color. The rose color from the neck is blending to peach. The female is similar to the male, but without a neck ring at maturity.


Blue has appeared in India in 1941. The plumage of the males is delicate blue, the rose neck ring is an off white color. The beak is red; the legs and feet are grey. The female is blue without the neck ring.


Albinos were bred in Australia in 1960. They are similar to Lutino, but the yellow color of the plumage is replaced with a snow-white color. The beak and eyes are pink. Both genders lack the neck ring. The Cream Albino has a bone white color with red eyes.


The Grey mutation was first bred in Australia in 1978. Its plumage presents green, silver and black tones. When a Grey paired with a Blue than it can produce both Greys and Blues. When a Grey paired with the original Green, then produces the Grey-Green or olive-khaki color bird.


Pied is a rare mutation, the color patterns differ in each bird. None of the Pied males developing the usual neck collar.


Cinnamon has appeared in Czechoslovakia. The plumage of the bird is lime-yellow with cinnamon-colored flight and tail feathers. The legs, feet and claws color is lighter than the plumage. The youngsters have red-brown eye color, which in a few days’ time will turn into a darker color. There is also a double mutation of Cinnamon and Blue, which produces a soft blue with a cinnamon tint.

The Diet Of Rose-ringed Parakeets

The main diet of rose-ringed parakeets should consist of high-quality pellets supplemented with a high-quality mixture of seeds like millet, oat, wheat, hemp, brown and long-grained rice, corn, sunflower seeds, etc…; cereals; beans; nuts and proteins.

Fruits and vegetables should be part of a rose-ringed parakeet’s daily diet. There is another option for a main 100% healthy diets, like a mix of sprouted grains and seeds, raw and boiled veggies, fruits and a small number of good quality pellets.

Pellets are a blend of vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, and protein. They are baked and then formed into shapes and sizes for different species. You should always check the package for feeding instructions on pellets. The bigger your bird, the bigger the pellets should be. You can mix some cooked brown rice with broccoli, kale, spinach, peppers, dandelion leaves, sweet potatoes.

Cereals like wheat contain a high level of sulfur, which can be administered to your parrot as a food supplement in the molting period. The sulfur helps to regenerate the plumage of the bird, that’s why you need to increase the quantity of wheat in your parrot’s diet during the molting period.

Oat seeds contain carbohydrates and a high level of albumins, which have an important role in the development of young birds. It’s a good choice for young Ringnecks, adult Ringnecks should have only 10% of supplementation in their diet from this cereal. Too much oat can lead to obesity. Corn seeds contain a low level of vitamins and albumins but are very rich in carbohydrates.

Rose-ringed parakeets love to eat boiled corn, you can offer them as treats.

Small seeds like millet and canary seeds should be mixed with the Ringneck’s regular seed mix, but be careful too much millet seeds offered as treat could lead to obesity. Canary seeds contain carbohydrates. Fruits contain most of all sugar and it has very low quantities of nutrients.

If you don’t have enough time to offer your bird a fresh diet variety every day, and you choose to feed your bird mostly with pellets, then you’ll have to keep in mind that good quality pellets must represent between 60-80 % of your parrot’s diet. It’s better to give your bird more pellets than seeds because pellets offer complete nutrition.

Rose-ringed parakeets that were fed only seeds use to have a shorter lifespan because seeds contain a high level of fat and insufficient vitamins, proteins and minerals. Seeds have to represent no more than 12 % of your parrot’s diet and they must not be dusty, or mold-infested.

Nuts and hazelnuts should be given in the same quantity as the seeds, and have to be offered in their own shell because it can be a good brain exercise for your bird.

If you have a young bird, you should teach him/her how to do it, by cracking the hazelnut shell. You can offer your bird rice bread and rye bread; cereals like oat flakes or corn flakes but without sugar.

During winter you can offer them soft food, for example, bread that was previously softened in milk and then mixed with some grated carrots, calcium and minced berries of sea-buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides).

Vegetables are very good nutrients for your bird. Frozen veggies are just as nutritious as fresh veggies, so they are fine for your birds, just make sure that you read the label and avoid brands with added salt.

During Summer you can offer them fresh veggies: cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, green beans, pod peas, lettuce, peppers, celery, etc.

Vegetables should be given in higher quantities than fruits. You can also offer your bird a variety of healthy fruits: grapes, melon, bananas, pears, nectarines, papayas, mangos, strawberries, blueberries, grapefruit, oranges, cherries, etc…

Rose-ringed parakeets prefer to eat fresh herbs like yarrow (Achillea millefolium), plantain (Plantago lanceolata), coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa pastoris), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), clover (Trifolium), etc.

Leaves and branches of fruit trees, oak trees, beech trees (Fagus sylvatica), willow trees (Salix alba) are the best source of vitamins, you can provide them directly from forests. You also have to offer the opportunity to your parrot to chew these kinds of branches.

Offer your bird once or twice per week boiled eggs. Boiled eggshells are the best source of calcium, so you can offer them to your bird in crushed form. Your parrot will love to serve some boiled chicken meat once or twice per week. When your bird is eating fruits, its droppings become more watery, but this should not cause alarm. You can offer them calcium-rich vegetables and fruits like broccoli, carrots, spinach, dandelion greens, mustard greens, figs, kale, endive, apricots.

Rose-ringed parakeets that are fed on high-quality pellets usually don’t need vitamin and mineral supplementation. Over supplementation with vitamins could lead to the intoxication of your bird. Supplementation with vitamins is recommended just in case when your bird’s main diet is based on seeds.

Another important thing is, never give up when you try to offer your bird new foods and it refuses them. You’ll have to try more than once, by mixing the new food into other foods.

Birds learn by observation and they use to watch what we eat, so they will try the new food. Avoid giving your bird avocado, chocolate, caffeine, sugary or salty snacks, milk products, and alcohol! Uneaten food should be removed from the cages after two hours. It’s very important to have all the time in the cage some grit.