Psittacula krameri (rose-ringed parakeet) (2024)

Geographic Range

Psittacula krameri, ring-necked parakeet or rose-ringed parakeet, is native to central Africa and range from as far north as Egypt, as far west as Senegal, as far east as Ethiopia, and as far south as Uganda. It is also native to parts of Asia such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Ring-necked parakeets have been introduced by humans to European countries such as Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. These birds have also been introduced to countries in western Asia such as Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey. Japan in East Asia. Jordan in the Middle East. Countries in Southwest Asia such as Qatar and Yemen. Singapore in Southeast Asia. Venezuela in South America. African countries such as Kenya, Mauritius, and South Africa and in the United States. These parakeets have also immigrated and established themselves on the Caribbean Islands of Curacao, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. (BirdLife International, 2012; Bulter, 2005; Strubbe and Matthysen, 2007; Voous, 1985)

  • Biogeographic Regions
  • nearctic
    • introduced
  • palearctic
    • introduced
    • native
  • oriental
    • introduced
  • ethiopian
    • introduced
    • native
  • neotropical
    • introduced


Ring-necked parakeets are mainly found in urban environments like cities. The urban environments potentially provide greater ambient temperatures and greater food availability. They inhabit deserts, savanna and grasslands, forests, and rainforests. Psittacula krameri also inhabits wetlands like marshes, swamps, and bogs. Ring-necked parakeets live in agricultural fields as well as all of these other environments. (BirdLife International, 2012; Strubbe and Matthysen, 2007)

  • Habitat Regions
  • terrestrial
  • freshwater
  • Terrestrial Biomes
  • desert or dune
  • savanna or grassland
  • forest
  • rainforest
  • Wetlands
  • marsh
  • swamp
  • bog
  • Other Habitat Features
  • urban
  • suburban
  • agricultural

Physical Description

Psittacula krameri is a medium sized bird with a body length on average of about 38.1 cm long; however, this number can range from 38-42 cm. It has a body mass of about 137.0 g. These birds have a green body with a reddish beak. They have a rather long pointed tail that is more than half of the body's length. This tail can be up to 25 cm long. The males of this species show a dark purplish color around their necks, giving the ring-necked parakeet its name. The young birds do not show this coloring on their necks, however. They only acquire it once they reach sexual maturity which is about the age of three. The female birds do not have this rose colored ring around their necks.

At hatching, the young are altricial meaning they are rather undeveloped and require care from their parents. (Bull, 1973; ; Iwaniuk, et al., 2005; Sengupta, et al., 2002)

  • Other Physical Features
  • endothermic
  • bilateral symmetry
  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • sexes colored or patterned differently
  • male more colorful
  • Average mass
    137.0 g
    4.83 oz
  • Range length
    38 to 42 cm
    14.96 to 16.54 in
  • Average length
    38.1 cm
    15.00 in


The rose-ringed parakeet is a seasonal breeder and is monogamous. This means there is one female that mates with one male. In this species, the female actually attracts the male and initiates the mating. She does this by rubbing her head against the males head repeatedly. After this, the mating process only lasts for a few minutes. (Ranjan and Kuswaha, 2013)

  • Mating System
  • monogamous

Psittacula krameri is a seasonal breeder that breeds in the winter months of December and January. Rose-ringed parakeets are oviparous, laying eggs in February and March. It is iteroparous, meaning that the bird produces many young each year.

Once the eggs are laid in the nests, the reproductive organs return to a reduced state from April until the next time breeding occurs (December).

Nests are, on average, 640.08 cm off the ground and about 37.8 cm deep. These nests have to be deep enough to hold as many as seven eggs. The rose-ringed parakeet lays on average about four eggs each clutch (range 1-7). Once the eggs are laid, they incubate for about three weeks until the young are hatched.

This species has a high reproductive success, which in turn leads to a high juvenile and adult survival.

Fledging occurs in about seven weeks after hatching. Once these birds reach the age of two years, they are considered to be independent. Males reach sexual maturity at the age of three when they develop the ring around their necks. Female parakeets also reach sexual maturity at the age of three.

The ring-necked parakeet uses a shared roost throughout the year. However, the number of parakeets in the roost during spring decreases dramatically because the female birds stay on the nests while the males return to this roost. (Bulter and Golser, 2004; Krishnaprasadan, et al., 1988; Pithon and Dytham, 1999; Sailaja, et al., 1988; Shwartz, et al., 2009)

  • Key Reproductive Features
  • iteroparous
  • seasonal breeding
  • gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
  • sexual
  • oviparous
  • Breeding interval
    Rose-ringed parakeets breed onece a year
  • Breeding season
    Rose-ringed parakeets breed in the winter months of December and January.
  • Range eggs per season
    1 to 7
  • Average time to hatching
    3 weeks
  • Average fledging age
    7 weeks
  • Average time to independence
    2 years
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
    3 years
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
    3 years

This parakeet is altricial at birth. This means it is fairly underdeveloped and fully dependent on its mother for feeding and protection. Parental care of the young ring-necked parakeets seems to come from both parents.

Once the birds mate, both help with nesting. Both the mother and the father take part in feeding their young and defending their nests until the young birds reach the age of independence. (Krishnaprasadan, et al., 1988; Ranjan and Kuswaha, 2013; Strubbe and Matthysen, 2011)

  • Parental Investment
  • altricial
  • male parental care
  • female parental care
  • pre-hatching/birth
    • provisioning
      • male
      • female
    • protecting
      • male
      • female
  • pre-weaning/fledging
    • provisioning
      • male
      • female
    • protecting
      • male
      • female
  • pre-independence
    • provisioning
      • male
      • female
    • protecting
      • male
      • female


This parakeet species is considered to be a long-lived bird. It is unknown how long the rose-ringed parakeet lives in the wild; however, according to Brouwer et al. (2000), it can live up to 34 years in captivity. Avihepadnaviruses are known the limit the lifespan in many avian species such as ducks, herons, geese, storks, and cranes. A similar virus called parrot hepatitis B virus (PHBV) has been found in ring-necked parakeets and is a cause of mortality among theses birds. (Brouwer, et al., 2000; Flower, 1938; Piasecki, et al., 2012)

  • Average lifespan
    Status: captivity
    34 years


Rose-ringed parakeets are a secondary cavity nester species, meaning that they use holes already dug out by other species to build their nests in. For example, the rose-ringed parakeet uses nesting holes of the great spotted woodpecker, Dendrocopos major, and the green woodpecker, Picus viridis.

Because of this behavior exhibited by the rose-ringed parakeet, it often has conflicts with native species that use these same sites as their nests. Examples of the conflicting species are the Eurasian nuthatch, Sitta europaea, blue tit, Parus caeruleus, great tit, Parus major, stock dove, Columbia oenas, and the European starling, Sturnus vulgaris. Psittacula krameri is motile, arboreal, and diurnal, but exhibits a daily torpor. This species is also sedentary and social, living in groups.

Rose-ringed parakeets breed in December and January and the eggs are hatched in February and March. They lay an average of four eggs per clutch. The father and mother birds both take part in caring, protecting, and feeding the young birds for up to 2 years.

Psittacula krameri has well-developed eyes in which it uses to perceive its environment. It has three distinctive calls that are used to communicate with other birds of the same species. However, a young bird has only one call and has to learn the other calls when it matures. (Newson, et al., 2011)

  • Key Behaviors
  • arboreal
  • flies
  • diurnal
  • motile
  • sedentary
  • daily torpor
  • social

Home Range

Strubbe and Matthysen (2011) found that the rose-ringed parakeets' average home range size was about 751,000 square meters. (Strubbe and Matthysen, 2011)

Communication and Perception

Psittacula krameri uses its vision to perceive the environment. Its retinas are well-developed and have two major aspects that allow it to see. The first is a pigmented retina which is beside the choroid layer of the eye. This layer is a relatively simple layer with cells that contain large amounts of melanin. The second major aspect of the retina is a neural retina which is beside the vitreous body in the eye. This part contains rods and cones, as well as seven other layers.

According to Butler et al. (2002), rose-ringed parakeets have a distinctive, rapid ‘kew-kew-kew’ call. The calls of the young are different from the calls of an adult bird. Young rose-winged parakeets call sounds like a ‘yak yak yak’. These birds have a deep ‘krrrr’ call which they use when they feel threatened. They also have a rather soft ‘purr’ call that they use as an aggregative sound. (Butler, et al., 2002; Kotagama and Dunnet, 2007; Sengupta, et al., 2002)

  • Communication Channels
  • acoustic
  • Perception Channels
  • visual
  • tactile
  • acoustic
  • chemical

Food Habits

The primary diet of the ring-necked parakeet is seeds and grains, making this bird a granivore. About 80 percent of this bird’s diet is seed-based. This parakeet also eats insects, fruits, and nectar. (Koutsos, et al., 2001)

  • Primary Diet
  • carnivore
    • insectivore
  • herbivore
    • granivore
    • nectarivore
  • Animal Foods
  • insects
  • Plant Foods
  • seeds, grains, and nuts
  • fruit
  • nectar


Rose-ringed parakeets have a few known predators which target the eggs. Gray squirrels, Sciurus carolinensis, prey on the birds' eggs. Crows, owls, snakes, and sometimes humans hom*o sapiens, are known nest predators.

The only anti-predator adaptations rose-ringed parakeets have is a soft "purr" sound, which they use to show aggregation. (Shwartz, et al., 2009)

  • Known Predators
    • gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis)
    • humans (hom*o sapiens)
    • crows (Corvus species)
    • owls (Strigiformes)
    • snakes (Serpentes)

Ecosystem Roles

Mammals, reptiles, and birds, including this parakeet, are often infected with a parasite known as Sarcocystis falcatula, a protozoan. The common vectors of this parasitic species include flies and co*ckroaches. Cray et al. (2005) report that ring-necked parakeets infected with this parasite may die from its effects. (Cray, et al., 2005)

Commensal/Parasitic Species

  • protozoan Sarcocystis falcatula

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Ring-necked parakeets are sometimes kept as pets. These birds are also used as a source of ecotourism, in the form of bird-watching. In suburban areas, people often spend money buying seeds and birdfeeders to feed ring-necked parakeets. (Bull, 1973; Clergeau and Vergnes, 2011)

  • Positive Impacts
  • pet trade
  • ecotourism

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Many species of parakeets carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Ring-necked parakeets are also viewed to be agricultural pests to farmers. These birds can cause severe damage to crops and grains being stored by farmers. (Meyer, 1940; Strubbe and Matthysen, 2007)

  • Negative Impacts
  • injures humans
    • causes disease in humans
  • crop pest

Conservation Status

On IUCN Red List, rose-ringed parakeets are listed as a species of "least concern." There is no special status for these birds under CITES appendices, the United States Endangered Species Act list, or the United States Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Rose-ringed parakeets have actually been introduced and can harm native birds. (BirdLife International, 2012; Newson, et al., 2011)


Ashley Flory (author), Radford University, Karen Powers (editor), Radford University, April Tingle (editor), Radford University, Emily Clark (editor), Radford University, Cari Mcgregor (editor), Radford University, Jacob Vaught (editor), Radford University, Tanya Dewey (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.



living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.

Psittacula krameri (rose-ringed parakeet) (1)


living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.

Psittacula krameri (rose-ringed parakeet) (2)


living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.

Psittacula krameri (rose-ringed parakeet) (4)


uses sound to communicate


living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.


young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.


Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.


a wetland area rich in accumulated plant material and with acidic soils surrounding a body of open water. Bogs have a flora dominated by sedges, heaths, and sphagnum.


an animal that mainly eats meat

causes disease in humans

an animal which directly causes disease in humans. For example, diseases caused by infection of filarial nematodes (elephantiasis and river blindness).


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

desert or dunes

in deserts low (less than 30 cm per year) and unpredictable rainfall results in landscapes dominated by plants and animals adapted to aridity. Vegetation is typically sparse, though spectacular blooms may occur following rain. Deserts can be cold or warm and daily temperates typically fluctuate. In dune areas vegetation is also sparse and conditions are dry. This is because sand does not hold water well so little is available to plants. In dunes near seas and oceans this is compounded by the influence of salt in the air and soil. Salt limits the ability of plants to take up water through their roots.

  1. active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.

humans benefit economically by promoting tourism that focuses on the appreciation of natural areas or animals. Ecotourism implies that there are existing programs that profit from the appreciation of natural areas or animals.


animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

female parental care

parental care is carried out by females


forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.


mainly lives in water that is not salty.


an animal that mainly eats seeds


An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.


An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.


referring to animal species that have been transported to and established populations in regions outside of their natural range, usually through human action.


offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).

male parental care

parental care is carried out by males


marshes are wetland areas often dominated by grasses and reeds.


Having one mate at a time.


having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.


an animal that mainly eats nectar from flowers


found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.

Psittacula krameri (rose-ringed parakeet) (5)


reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.

pet trade

the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.


rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.

seasonal breeding

breeding is confined to a particular season


remains in the same area


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


associates with others of its species; forms social groups.


living in residential areas on the outskirts of large cities or towns.


a wetland area that may be permanently or intermittently covered in water, often dominated by woody vegetation.


uses touch to communicate


Living on the ground.

tropical savanna and grassland

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.


A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

temperate grassland

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.


living in cities and large towns, landscapes dominated by human structures and activity.


uses sight to communicate


Bang, B., S. Cobb. 1968. The size of the olfactory bulb in 108 species of birds. The Auk, 85/1: 55-61.

Barron, H., R. Roberts, K. Latimer, S. Hernandez-Divers, N. Northrup. 2009. Tolerance doses of cutaneous and mucosal tissues in ring-necked parakeets (Psittacula krameri) for external beam megavoltage radiation. Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, 23/1: 6-9.

BirdLife International, 2012. "Psittacula krameri" (On-line). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Version 2014.3. Accessed February 05, 2015 at

Brouwer, K., M. Jones, C. King, H. Schifter. 2000. Longevity records for Psittaciformes in captivity. International Zoo Yearbook, 37/1: 299-316.

Bull, J. 1973. Exotic birds in the New York City area. The Wilson Bulletin, 85/4: 501-505.

Bulter, C. 2005. Feral parrots in the continental United States and United Kingdom: Past, present, and future. Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, 19/2: 142-149.

Bulter, C., A. Golser. 2004. Sexing and ageing rose-ringed parakeets Psittacula krameri in Britain. Ringing and Migration, 22/1: 7-12.

Bulter, C. 2003. Population Biology of the Introduced Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri in the UK (thesis). Oxford, England: University of Oxford. Accessed March 19, 2015 at

Butler, C., G. Hazlehurst, K. Butler. 2002. First nesting by blue-crowned parakeet in Britain. British Birds, 95: 17-20.

Clergeau, P., A. Vergnes. 2011. Bird feeders may sustain feral rose-ringed parakeets Psittacula krameri in temperate Europe. Wildlife Biology, 17/3: 248-252.

Cray, C., K. Zieleinski-Roberts, M. Bonda, R. Stevenson, R. Ness, S. Clubb, A. Marsh. 2005. Serologic diagnosis of Sarcocystosis in Psittacine birds: 16 cases. Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, 19/3: 208-215.

Flower, 1938. Further nothes on the duration of life in animals. IV. Birds. Journal of Zoology, Ser. A: 195-235.

George, J., R. Naik. 1960. Intramuscular fat store in the pectoralis of birds. The Auk, 77/2: 216-217.

Iwaniuk, A., K. Dean, J. Nelson. 2005. Interspecific allometry of the brain and brain regions in parrots (Psittaciformes): Comparisons with other birds and primates. Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 65: 40-59.

Kotagama, S., G. Dunnet. 2007. Behavioral activities of the rose-ringed parakeet Psittacula krameri in the wild. Siyoth, 21/1: 51-57.

Koutsos, E., K. Matson, K. Klasing. 2001. Nutrition of birds in the orders Psittaciformes: A review. Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, 15/4: 257-275.

Krishnaprasadan, T., V. Kotak, P. Sharp, R. Schmedemann, E. Hasse. 1988. Environmental and hormonal factors in seasonal breeding in free-living male Indian rose-ringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri). Hormones and Behavior, 22/4: 488-496.

Meyer, K. 1940. Psittacosis. The Auk, 57/3: 330-332.

Murali, K., R. Sukumar. 1994. Reproductive phenology of a tropical dry forest in Mudumalai, Southern India. Journal of Ecology, 82/4: 759-767.

Newson, S., A. Johnston, D. Parrott, D. Leech. 2011. Evaluating the population-level impact of an invasive species, ring-necked parakeet Psittacula krameri, on native avifauna. Ibis, 153/3: 509-516.

Piasecki, T., B. Kurenbach, K. Chrzastek, K. Bednarek, S. Kraberger, D. Martin, A. Varsani. 2012. Molecular characterisation of an avihepadnavirus isolated from Psittacula krameri (ring-necked parrot). Archives of Virology, 157/3: 585-590.

Pithon, J., C. Dytham. 1999. Breeding performance of ring-necked parakeets Psittacula krameri in small introduced populations in southeast England. Bird Study, 46/3: 342-347.

Ranjan, G., P. Kuswaha. 2013. Study on breeding ecology of Corvus splendens, Acridotheres tristis, and Psittacula krameri in Parsa District, Nepal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India Section B: Biological Sciences, 83/1: 27-30.

Sailaja, R., V. Kotak, P. Sharp, R. Schmedemann, E. Haase. 1988. Environmental, dietary, and hormonal factors in the regulation of seasonal breeding in free-living female Indian rose-ringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri). Hormonal Behavior, 22: 518-527.

Sengupta, A., Y. Obara, T. Banerji, S. Maitra. 2002. Induction of blindness by formoguanamine hydrochloride in adult male roseringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri). Journal of Biosciences, 27/7: 687-693.

Shwartz, A., D. Strubbe, C. Bulter, E. Mattysen, S. Kark. 2009. The effect of enemy-release and climate conditions on invasive birds: A regional test using the rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri) as a case study. Diversity and Distributions, 15/2: 310-318.

Strubbe, D., E. Matthysen. 2011. A radiotelemetry study of habitat use by the exotic ring-necked parakeet Psittacula krameri in Belgium. Ibis, 153/3: 180-184.

Strubbe, D., E. Matthysen. 2007. Invasive ring-necked parakeets Psittacula krameri in Belgium: Habitat selection and impact on native birds. Ecography, 30/4: 578-588.

Strubbe, D., E. Matthysen, C. Graham. 2010. Assessing the potential impact of invasive ring-necked parakeet Psittacula krameri on native nuthatches Sitta europaea in Belgium. Journal of Applied Ecology, 47/3: 549-557.

Vaurie, C. 1971. Birds in the prayer book of Bonne of Luxembourg. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 29/6: 279-283.

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Psittacula krameri (rose-ringed parakeet) (2024)
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