This writing shall refer mainly to the Indian Ringneck Parrot (Asian subspecies) although there is a Boreal or Neumann's ringnecked (Asian subspecies) aka BRN, which originated in Bangladesh, Pakistan, north India and Nepal to central Burma. We also should not forget the African cousin, the African Ringneck Parrot (African subspecies).
The Indian Ringneck Parrot, aka IRN, originated in Southern India in Sri Lanka. An accurate description of the Indian ringneck would be that it has a hooked beak, long tail and is more slender in size compared to most parrots. The IRN is about 16 inches in length, including tail, and has a stealthy appearance. Their upper beak is orangey-red with a black tip and the lower beak is blackish with a paler tip. They weigh between 153-180mm.
In the wild the IRNs are green with undertones of blue that is most visible during overcast days. The male has a black ring around his neck, otherwise male and female are quite similar with their green coloring with yellow feathers underlining their wings and tail. The male ring is highlighted with turquoise, pink and blue and although the female may not exhibit the male's impressive ring, some IRN enthusiasts argue a slight green ring is visible. Both male and female display large tails that have 12 feathers and the two longest feathers are blue accounting in large part the actual large size of the parrot. The male's tail is 7” in length while the female's is 6” in length. Although the origin color of the IRN was apple green, there are mutations with plumage in a range of colors. IRN in plumage of buttercup yellow and powder blue are extremely popular now. In some of the color mutations the male ring is not always visual. In juveniles, the male ring appears around the 3rd year.
In their native forests their presence is generally given away by their distinctive contact call because as they are mostly green in color, they are difficult to see while roosting. IRN reaches maturity about 1-1½ years of age. Unlike most parrots, IRNs are fickle and do not breed for life.
As most parrots, the IRN is very intelligent, learns quickly and loves to show off. Also called Rose-Ringed Parakeets, their average lifespan is 15 to 25 years or more. This elegant creature makes a good pet for care-providers who are willing to provide on-going handling and socialization in order to maintain their friendly personalities.
Indian Ringneck parrots are energetic flighted creatures that love to fly and are very playful. They need lots of toys so that they are always entertained. They are big wood chewers so lots of wooden toys are best. Small toys that they can hold in the claws are a must. Swings and lots of perches are a good choice for these agile creatures. IRN can be taught to talk and they can mimic sounds easily. However if they are teased or bored IRNs can become great high-pitched screamers.
The best cage is a large cage for a IRN with room for lots of toys and perches. Rule of thumb, the more time a IRN has to spend in a cage, the larger the cage should be.
In the wild IRNs feed on nuts, grains, seeds, blossoms, fruits, some nectar, berries, greens, and leafy vegetables. In captivity their diet should include a good amount of leafy dark greens and vegetables (i.e. chard, kale, carrots, corn, squash) as well as fruits (i.e. pomegranates, figs, bananas, apples, pears, persimmons). For variety cooked beans, chicken, wholegrain rice, fresh dandelion flowers, sprouted alfalfa and wheat grass are a bonus.
Cuttlebone, shell grit, crushed oyster shell or calcium blocks should be available for a happy IRN. Millet spray is a great treat.
It should be noted that an IRNs can become jealous and bond to only one person. Although a small bird, an IRN can be fearless if it feels threatened. In general it is recommended only experienced large parrot owners who are willing to spend lots of time and effort to keep an IRN well-socialized, entertained and happy take on IRN ownership.