The Story Of Rose-Ringed Parakeets
All green with black tipped red bill and black chin, pink ringed eyes, long blue tail – that is how you describe this beautiful bird. Only the males have a red band around their necks which turns black around the chin area.
These move daily to our villages and cities in large flocks making a lot of noise. Once there, they usually go their separate ways to find food. Food is mainly made up of fruits, nuts and seeds.
They are experts at using their feet as hands and pry open their food with their beaks while holding it in their ‘hands’. One has to see them to understand how good they are at it. Their journey back in the evening is again in large flocks.
A couple of days ago, a young male visited the place where I live. It pried open a dried up pod with its ‘hand’ and beak, used the wind to disperse the fibre around the seeds and ate the seeds. A really smart bird.
Their nests are usually in mud-cliffs and they also use crevices or holes in the trees. I once saw a pair of parakeets – the male had selected an abandoned hole in a tree (perhaps made by a barbet) and he had bought the female to inspect the site. While she went about inspecting the site, our male waited outside rather nervously.
She took her time checking meticulously and deciding. Once it was over, they flew away together. He must have passed with flying colors as I saw them living happily ever after.
Very useful as seed dispersers and pollinators.
Once very popular as cage birds, their numbers had plummeted sharply. Deforestation, urbanization and invasive vegetation are the biggest threats to these amazing birds. They are beautiful to observe in the wild and I really fail to understand why people would want to cage them.
The behaviour I have described above will never be observed when the bird is in a cage. This holds true for all the Parakeets, Parrots, Budgerigars, Cockatoos, African Lovebirds and Macaws.