Kakariki: Parrot Species Profile 2023

Kakariki Parrot

Species Overview

Also Known As: Red-crowned parakeet

Scientific Name: Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae

Adult Size: 12 inches

Life Expectancy: 10-15 years

Is The Kakariki Parrot a good pet?

  • Social and affectionate
  • Fun loving
  • Quieter than other parrots
  • Can be good for apartment living
  • Demand a lot of attention to stay entertained

General Information

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 can make excellent companions for apartment living.

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.

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.

What food do they eat?

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 can be rescued, adopted, or purchased at verified organizations or adoption websites like Petfinder. Pricing is around $800 from breeders. Its not a cheap bird considering the size of this beauty, however they will pay you back in spades with their love and devotion towards you.

If you want to choose a breeder, make sure that the breeder is reputable by asking them how long they’ve been breeding and working with Kakarikis. Ask for a tour, but don’t be alarmed if you are unable to tour the facilities in which they keep the birds. Many reputable breeders opt to work under closed aviaries, which prevents diseases from infecting the flock.

How big is the Kakariki?

The Kakariki Parrot is about 12 inches when they reach full maturity.


As pets, kakarikis are great fun and have really entertaining personalities. Being intelligent, they are able to learn words and mimic a lot of sounds including your favorite songs. They are also just as lovable as they look and like to cuddle up to their owners. 

Of course, with such perky personalities they’ll need plenty of attention to keep them entertained so make sure you spend time playing with them and give them a range of toys to keep them occupied when they’re alone. Like most birds, the kakariki bird needs a few hours a day out of the cage and almost constant stimulation to avoid boredom so it is important to introduce new toys to them regularly.

Common Diseases

– Feather Picking

– Psittacosis

Kakariki Sounds

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