Kākāriki is a genus scientifically known as Cyanoramphus which includes three parrot species. Yellow-crowned parakeet, Red-crowned parakeet, and Orange-fronted parakeet. These small parrots are endemic to New Zealand. Out of all species, the Red-crowned parakeet and Yellow-crowned are kept as pets as the other one Orange-fronted parakeet or Malherbe’s parakeet is critically endangered.
|New Zealand parakeets
|Yellow-crowned parakeet: green body, bluish purple flight feathers, red and golden head
Red-crowned parakeet: green body with a distinctive red band on the head
Orange-fronted parakeet: green body and golden patch on the head
|8-11 in (20-327 cm)
|3.4-4 oz( 96-113 g)
|Species and Distribution
|Red-crowned parakeet: South and North Islands of New Zealand
Yellow-crowned parakeet: Auckland Islands, Stewart Islands, Kapiti, and Little Barrier
Orange-fronted parakeet: Maud Island, Chalky Island, and Blumine Island
|Dense rainforests, coastal forests, forest edges, and scrublands, high-altitude meadows, open matagouri shrubland, subalpine and alpine tussock
|Mostly beech seeds fruits, along with flowers and small invertebrates
|Mid-October, December to April
|7-9 eggs, most of the time it is around 4
|30-71 days depending on the species
|IUCN Conservation Status
|Temperament as pets
The agile birds are better kept in larger spaces, so any medium-sized parrot cage with a measurement of 1 m square would be good for them. For aviaries, a flight cage of 2.5 X2X1 m is suitable. The bird has a tendency of exercising by climbing up and down, so the cage should not have any wires with unfinished or sharp ending that can cause injuries. You can keep a pair together, but make sure both are comfortable with the space given instead of feeling suffocated and constricted.
If required, place a wooden nest box sizing of 10X12X12 inches.
Since these birds belong to a cooler region, provide them a temperature ranging between 62°F-68°F.
Temperament and Behavior
These parakeets are inquisitive and always on the lookout for new adventures with whatever they get. It could be a toy or anything of that sort. The cage should be locked well as these birds are great escape artists and they will try to fly without knowing the consequence.
Kākārikis love to eat everything, including vegetables, fruits, and insects. You need to provide pelleted and seed-based diets along with fresh vegetables. The seeds of chili jalapeno, kiwi, pomegranates, strawberries, and oats, hemp along with hard-boiled eggs are their special favorite. Vitamin C is required in autumn and spring seasons.
Keep the cage and the bird clean every day for avoiding any ailments related to hygiene. Giving the bird its required mental enrichment is also essential, and so you need to interact with your pet as much as possible. Even if you have a pair, make sure you spend some quality time with each of them.
Although these birds are healthy when a well-maintained diet is provided, they can suddenly die without any prior sign of illness. They are susceptible to shock, stress, and boredom which can result in serious problems like spasms, and fixed gaze. You have to give the bird a warmer place to thrive for that time period. Usually, checking its health from a professional vet from time to time is the best way to go.
They cost between $30 and $150.
- Kākāriki is a Maori word meaning “small parrots” and is used keeping in mind the shape of the bird.
- Malherbe’s parakeet’s other name Orange-fronted parakeet is the namesake of another bird called half-moon conure, belonging to another genus.
Video: Kākāriki Talking