Rosellas Parakeet

Rosellas Parakeet

Of the two different species of Rosellas pictured here (Eastern on the left and Crimson on the right) the Crimson is said to make the best family member. There are several species of Rosella in Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand and many color mutations have been developed by Avian Husbandry folks; but we will concentrate on these two because they are said to be the easiest to obtain in the U.S. and other countries and other Rosellas are not specifically differing from these two, by and large.

The Rosella grows to about 12-14 inches, weighs about 115 grams and has a life span of 20-30 years. They are considered to be of the Parakeet family. Their diet should consist of a good pellet, but; they do relish a few seeds such as millet, canary grass seed, saffron, shelled oats, buckwheat, hemp and flax. Minerals and vitamins must be included in their diet as well as fresh fruit, from the safe fruit list and vegetables.

They particularly relish carrots and greens. Before purchasing a Rosella to share your life with, you must consider that they can have rather loud, raspy voices as well as sweet, melodious songs. The do not mimic human speech very well, but; do readily learn whistled tunes and entire songs and jingles. Rosella’s need to have human contact constantly reinforced, even bred away from the wild and you must insure that any Rosella you purchase is hand fed, hand weaned and in constant contact with humans, otherwise they will withdraw from being a well socialized bird and return to being human shy and territorial (Not unlike the Quaker Parakeet). T

hey are not serious biters, even though every bird does bite – they will just avoid human contact, if left to their own devices for too long. They need plenty of interaction and out of cage time. This isn’t much different than the rules of thumb for most parrots, but; recidivism can occur much more quickly with the wonderful Rosella. Like Quakers, they are aggressive toward other species and interaction should be avoided or strictly supervised. If you want your Rosella to have a playmate, make that playmate another Rosella.

One Rosella will live nicely and a medium sized 30×30 square cage or similar. Two Rosella’s should have more elongated, flight cage type accommodations. (Jan Santor)

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Mustached Parakeet

Mustached Parakeet

This beautiful, pastel feathered bird with its obvious moustache, hails from the Himalayas, Indonesia and China.  It is one of the few parrots whose sex can be visually determined.  The female has a black beak while the male has a bright orange-red beak.

They are a hardy medium sized bird of about 16″ and 100 to 130 mgs in adulthood. (slightly larger than a Quaker in overall length, including the tail) and they life span is 20-25 years in a good home with good food, lots of soft wood toys, foot toys and foraging toys as well as plenty of attention from their human family.

They belong to the genus Ringneck; but are the nominate bird in their species for which there are eight subspecies which vary slightly in color and size.  They are fun loving and affectionate pets, but; like the Quaker Parakeet, can be very opinionated.  There food should consist of a high end, uncolored, plain pellet, mixed with a good small to medium sized parrot seed mixture and supplemented daily with brightly colored, nutritious fruits and vegetables.

They are credited with their talking ability; and are very articulate.  They have a real talent for learning and whistling tunes.  They are very intelligent and learn rapidly.  They need plenty of cage room and multi-level perches as they love to climb and play and forage with their toys.  At the very least the Aviary should be 36″ x 18″ x 24″ with no more than ½” to 5/8″ bar spacing; per bird, so you would want to increase the width and height a bit to accommodate that long tail, if you have two.  Yes, they can and do screech; but, this can be kept to a minimum by staggering the height and placement of perches and toys.  Keep them busy and they will be happy and a joy to share your life with.

If you have or are planning on have a Moustached  Parakeet in your family, call Korey or Kim at Bird Cages Galore and they will help you choose a cage, perches and toys that will be just right for them and your home.  Their cage is their home, but; your home is their home too and plenty of supervised out of cage time will make for very happy birds.

The Alexandrine Parakeet

The Alexandrine Parakeet

The Alexandrine is known as the gentle bird with a huge beak.The homeland of the Alexandrine is Indonesia with 5 subspecies. All range from 22″ to 25″ beak to tail with a 10″ to 12″ wingspan. Their average lifespan is 40 years. They are not dimorphic (visual difference between male and female) until the reach the age of 36 months. By the time they are 3 years old, they are sexually mature and the males will develop pitch black neck rings and pink nape bands in adulthood.

These are one of the longest kept pets on the Eurasian continent with their name being taken from Alexander the Great. Alexandrines are highly active birds who love to chew on toys and bathe frequently. They just love to play in water. These birds make excellent pets but need daily interaction with their humans and ample out-of-cage time or they could become aggressive as they get older. They are among the top 10 talkers in the bird world, but; you will need to reinforce behavior so that they do not become out-of-cage destructive.

They may tend to favor one person over other family members and become jealous or aggressive, but; proper training will keep that to a minimum. Quakers tend to be this way too. An all seed diet is deadly for an Alexandrine’s parrot, as it is for other companion birds. Make sure to feed a rounded, nutritious diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, seed, pellets and safe table foods. The more variety of food that they get, the better. .A well socialized Alexandrine with lots of wooden toys and a will provide many years of companionship and love. Alexandrines require a spacious cage to accommodate their play and of course, their majestic tail. A cage no smaller than 36″x 30″ x 28″ is recommended.

The Horned Parakeet

The Horned Parakeet

The Horned Parakeet, also known as the crested parakeet, is pretty distinctive. A small, mostly green bird with two thin long black feathers coming off of the head. The “horns” of the male are a bit longer and thicker than the female. The tips of the “horns” are red to match the front portion of the head, which is also red. Black feathers color the rest of the face with red or orange eyes set in the middle, making for a wonderful contrast. The nape of the neck is yellow, the underside of the wings are blue, the tail is the same green as the rest of the body except it has a touch of blue mixed in. The bill is grey with a black tip. The bird is petite, at only half a pound and about a foot long from head to the tip of the tail.

The sounds the horned parakeet makes are actually quite cute. It’s typical “chirping” sounds like it’s almost laughing. Of course, like almost all parrots, it can also screech quite loudly and obnoxiously when it feels the need.
Native to New Caledonia, an island east of Australia, this bird loves humid forests and woodlands. The population has been declining over many years, most likely because of habitat destruction. It is on the vulnerable category of endangered species lists. In the wild, they enjoy a diet of fruits, nuts, seeds, flowers, and berries. They live either in pairs or small groups.

Horned Parakeets are very rare in captivity. They do make good pets, though. They are curious and intelligent. One thing that they love that is not very common with all birds is overhead misters in their enclosures. Being a bird from humid forests, they do enjoy some moisture in the air.

Size: The Horned Parakeet is about 12 inches in length.


Parakeets normally live between 15-20 years if on a well balanced diet, if given plenty of exercise and attention, and if kept in a clean enclosure.

Dietary Needs:

They feed on a diet of seed mix, nutritious pellet, and plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, as well as sprouted seed.

Common Diseases and ailments:

  • aspergillosis
  • candidiasis
  • egg binding
  • feather plucking
  • goiter
  • mites
  • psittacosis

All of these ailments can be avoided with proper care

The Derbyan Parakeet

The Derbyan Parakeet

The Derbyan Parakeet (Parrot) is an absolutely gorgeous bird with its many shades of violet and blue standing out from the striking black collar and multi-green colors of its main body.

Derbyans make excellent companions when only one is chosen, because they are naturally shy and prefer the company of other birds, if given a choice. They are larger than most Parakeets at 20+ inches in length and are extremely intelligent. They can be loud (what parrot isn’t at times), but; their ability to talk (almost like Amazons) and their affectionate ways will outshine that very quickly.

Derbyans hail from the Far East (China, Tibet, etc) and were rapidly becoming extinct in the wild. Thanks to the World Parrot Trust and C.I.T.E.S., they are finally making a comeback. Their diet should consist of no more than 40% Organic Pellets (Harrisons Organic Pellets come to mind) and the rest fresh fruits, vegetables, and birdie bread, with some seed.

Always remember to only leave fresh foods in the food cup for about 2-3 hours to prevent illness from bacteria. Because of its long tail, the Derbyan should have as large a cage as possible (36”x24” minimum) with bar spacing no more than 5/8” to ½”. Your Derbyan should be allowed as much out of cage and with his/her human family as much as possible. This will keep the noise to a minimum and bonding to the maximum. They are not good candidates for full time caging.

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