The New Zealand Red-Crowned Parakeet, more commonly known as the Kakariki, is a long tailed bright green parrot with a red crown, forehead and band of red which extends from the bill through the eye and beyond, crimson rump patches and violet blue on wing coverts and some outer flight feathers. (This is the bird pictured on the left). The bird on the right is a naturally occurring color referred to as “Albino” in the wild but has since been developed as a Lutino Mutation by bird breeders.
They are playful and friendly birds about the size of a Quaker Parakeet (12” or so). They love to run up and down their cages without using their beak to help them (I do not know of another parrot that manages this) and they are always moving and playing. They learn to mimic and can say phrases, short nursery rhymes and the like. These are not loud and noisy little ones, so they make excellent apartment dwellers.
The Kakariki is not as long lived as other birds with the average lifespan being 10-15 years. This age span question is just beginning to be addressed so there is no real certainty that they do not live longer if properly loved and cared for. They are, however; easily stressed so a quiet home is a good home for a Kakariki. Middle aged and senior folks often choose them over birds that are noted for living 35 or more years because they are more age compatible and the need for advanced placement arrangements need not be set so far into the future as they would in the case of an Amazon, for instance.
Kakariki eat a wide variety of plant seeds (particularly flax), fruit, berries, buds, shoots and flowers, as well as nectar, broccoli, snow peas, corn, cucumber, celery, carrots, yams, apples, grapes, cantaloupe, oranges, cheese, popcorn, hard-boiled eggs, cooked chicken bones and cooked dried beans. They particularly enjoy the seeds of kiwi fruit, strawberries, pomegranates, dried figs and peppers (chili jalapeno, green and red) and small invertebrates. Kakarikis are omnivorous and relish meal worms in their diet.
They often feed on the floor of their cage and bath often in a glass pan of water there. Because the Kakariki is only now becoming popular and there are more than one subspecies and several color mutations, there are not a lot of aviaries in the US that breed them. Their cage requirements are about the same for a Quaker or Pionus at 25”-30” square or thereabouts with both horizontal and vertical cage bars. The helpful staff at Bird Cages Galore will give you plenty of choices for your Kakariki.