Bourke’s Parakeet

Bourke’s Parakeet is a small, colorful bird originating in Australia.  Being dimorphic, the males are seen with a blue band above their eyes, whereas their female counterparts have much lighter or no such bands at all.

Bourke’s Parakeet

Bourke’s Parakeet

Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Psittaciformes
Superfamily Psittacoidea
Family Psittaculidae
Subfamily Psittaculinae
Tribe Pezoporini
Genus Neopsephotus
Species Neopsephotus bourkii
Bourke's Parakeet Bird

Bourke’s Parakeet Bird

Bourke's Parakeet Images

Bourke’s Parakeet Images

 

Quick Information

Other names Bourke’s parrot, Bourkie, Bourke, Pink bellied parakeet; Blue vented parakeet and Sun down parrot
Size 18 cm to 23 cm, Tail length of about 9cm
Weight Males: 47 g to 49 g; Females: 41 g to 49 g
Color Olive-brown body, pink abdomen, patches of pink on breast, blue rump, dark brown legs and eyes, bill of yellowish brown
Distribution Parts of southern, central and western Australia
Habitat Woodlands, scrublands as well as urban areas
Sound Calls frequently with a soft mellowing sound “chu vee” especially when in flight
Clutch Between three and six eggs
Incubation Period 18 to 19 days
Fledging Around 28 days
Lifespan Approximately 15 years or even longer when bred in captivity
Diet Lives on seeds and grasses
IUCN Conservation Status Least Concern

 Color mutations

  • Isabel (Cinnamon)
  • Fallow
  • Yellow
  • Rosa or pink
  • Cream
  • Blue
  • Pied
  • White with a pink face
  • Lutino
  • Opaline
  • Rubino

Pet care

This species with a striking appearance and gentle personality is a popular pet choice for people desiring a well-behaved bird.

Housing

Requiring a large, spacious dwelling-place, aviaries or big flight cages are well-suited for them as they will be able to fly about freely. In case you are keeping them in a cage make sure that it is 24 x 24 x 30 inch in height, with bar spacings not exceeding ½ an inch. Keep wooden or natural perches for them to hop around.

Cage accessories

These pink parrots are fond of bells, swings as well as preening toys. Placing a few toys in their cage may help in entertaining them.

Bourke's Parakeet Cage

Bourke’s Parakeet Cage

Nest box

Since they are not fussy about their nest-box size, a moderate-sized nest box can be provided in the cage.

Bourke's Parakeet Nest Box

Bourke’s Parakeet Nest Box

Temperature

They thrive comfortably at a temperature between 60°F and 85°F. Though these parakeets do well outdoors, they should be kept away from excessive heat or chilling cold to prevent them from falling ill.

Temperament and Behavior

Having an amiable and calm disposition, they socialize well with other birds especially canaries, cockatiels, grasskeets, peaceful-natured finches, and budgies. They enjoy entertaining themselves, not requiring too much of attention.

One problem encountered in housing these otherwise docile and hassle free species in a mixed aviary is that their activity level increases at dawn and after the sunset. This is why they resort to flying around the cage in the wee hours of the morning as well as at night, also chattering and twittering noisily, hence causing a problem to the other birds.

Bourke's Parakeet Pictures

Bourke’s Parakeet Pictures

Bourke's Parakeets

Bourke’s Parakeets

Feeding

Give your pet Bourke a healthy seed diet comprising of a mixture of pellets, canary seeds millets, coupled with some amount of sunflower and safflower seeds. To enhance nutrition, introduce healthy vegetables like broccoli, kale, corn, and grated carrot. Fresh fruits such as chopped pieces of apple and berries form an ideal food source. Maintain their protein levels by providing eggs. Provision of cuttlebone and grit aids in strengthening their bones. Pieces of cuttlefish should be given to the female bird during breeding period to help them maintain their calcium levels. Place fresh drinking water at their cage bottom every day.

Baby Bourke's Parakeet Pictures

Baby Bourke’s Parakeet Pictures

Baby Bourke's Parakeet

Baby Bourke’s Parakeet

Bourke's Parakeet Eggs

Bourke’s Parakeet Eggs

Care

Change their cage substrates on a regular basis to ensure proper hygiene. As they enjoy bathing at times, place a dish containing lukewarm water on their cage floor or spray them gently using a spray bottle. If their nails are to be trimmed, consult a vet rather than trying it at home.

Health problems

These hardy birds do not suffer from any serious health problems as such. They may have a heat stroke on getting exposed to intense heat. On the other hand when kept at a very low temperature they develop hypothermia (rapid decrease in body heat). A sick bird is characterized by ruffled feathers, drooping head, discharge from mouth and nostrils, breathing trouble, increased intake of water, watery droppings and weight loss.

Price

You can get a Bourke’s parakeet for a sum of $150-$300.

Interesting facts

  • Sir Thomas L. Mitchell is credited to have discovered the Bourke’s parrot in 1838, in New South Wales.
  • This species is named after the Governor of New South Wales, General Sir Richard Bourke.
  • Though they are at times placed in the genus Neophema, there is an ongoing debate regarding the taxonomic position of these parakeets.
  • They have zygodactyls toes as it is arranged in a pair with two toes pointing front and the other two backward.

References:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourke’s_parrot
  2. http://www.birdworld.com.au/bw_bird_index.php?birdid=Bourkii&birdg=Neophema
  3. http://www.parrots.org/index.php/encyclopedia/profile/bourkes_parrot/
  4. http://beautyofbirds.com/burkesparrots.html

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