- Size: 15-17 inches
- Lifespan: 15 years
- Bird Species: Parrot
- Colors: Various colors
- Sounds: Vocal, Natural calls, Moderately noisy
- Interaction: Social, Intelligent, Inquisitive, Fun, Playful, Affectionate
- Comparable Breeds: Red Bellied Parrot, Elegant Parrot
Mallee Ringneck General Info
A breed with a long and rich history as a pet, Australia’s Mallee Ringneck is one of the most unique and captivating parrot breeds out there. Their stunning appearance and a stunning array of colors, combined with the goofy and often sweet personality, makes them wonderful to be around. Often called the Twenty Eight parrots, this species has a few distinct breeds, each with their own distinct details. First bred in captivity as early as 1909, they’re now a very popular breed of parrots in aviculture.
As a pet and aviary bird, Mallee Ringneck is commonly seen in England and the rest of Europe. In the USA, they’re still somewhat rare.
A part of the Australian Ringneck family, the Mallee Ringneck is one of the iconic birds of this continent. This breed is found in a small region, mostly in Central Australia, from northwest Victoria and the Murray River region, all the way to the New South Wales and parts of southern Queensland. Their habitat includes water valleys, regional woodlands, arid shrubland, and Eucalyptus growth. Seeing these birds in some suburban areas should not come as a surprise. They can be inquisitive and sometimes considered to be a pest on agricultural properties.
The birds in the Barnardius family, or the Ringnecks, are all fairly similar in their physical appearance. Most of the breed-specific differences are found in the color of their plumage. The adults reach an average length between 15 to 17 inches (37 and 42 centimeters) and can weigh around 5 ounces (150 grams). They have a distinct, robust appearance that makes them hard to mistake for another breed. You can always recognize the peculiar small head and beak, and the long and tapered broad tail of the Mallee Ringneck.
Speech and Sounds
The Mallee Ringneck is not one of the overly noisy parrot breeds. Their vocalizations are all moderate and tolerable to a great extent. The natural calls are shrill and consist of melodious whistles and chirps. Remember that if you keep these birds as pairs in an aviary, the male can become loud during courting season. He will constantly chirp and chatter, in hopes to charm the female. But overall, they are not too noisy and are adequate as both apartment and house pets.
The colors of the Mallee Ringneck are among the most stunning you can come across. They are like a colorful painter’s palette, full of bright tones and curious patterns. The body is mostly light, pastel green, with subtle touches of yellow. In the center of the abdomen, a patch of mixed yellow and orange spots stands out. The back and the wings are a dark blue-black, with the lower half of the wings covered in a stunning mixture of lime green, turquoise, and variations of the two. The lower half of the head is light green, while the top is yellow. A prominent red band stretches just above the beak. The females are largely similar but much duller in all aspects, which helps with identification. This incredible mix of soft, dreamy pastel colors is rarely seen amongst parrots, which makes the Mallee Ringnecks unique in every aspect.
One of the most popular color mutations created in the pet market is a stunning all-blue variety.
Care and Feeding
Ringnecks in the wild will thrive on a varied diet. It consists of fruits, insects, seeds, and often – crops. For your pet, you should begin with a commercial seed mix. The second half of this diet should be comprised of fresh fruits and vegetables. These treats are a great source of essential vitamins. Another thing to keep in mind is the importance of showers. The Mallee Ringneck will love to bathe and shower, and you should allow them to splash around as often as possible. It’s a great preventive measure against skin diseases.
Health and Common Conditions
Thanks to their robust size, these birds are usually very healthy. In their natural habitat, these parrots had to adapt to harsh conditions, which makes adapting to common household condition a child’s play for the Mallee Ringneck. They will easily achieve their lifespan of 15 years and more. This also makes them good companions for seniors and single owners.
Docile and sweet, this showy pet bird will make a great companion for single owners and seniors.
Personality & Behavior
Generally considered as temperate and calm, the Mallee Ringneck is also an intelligent and inquisitive pet. Their energy levels are moderate, but they will still love playing with a variety of toys. Also, an important part of parrot care is social stimulation. You need to interact with your pet, talk to them and play with them, if you want to maintain their friendly nature. But all in all, you will quickly realize that behind the Mallee Ringneck’s docile behavior, lies an affectionate and fun pet parrot.
Photo credit: Galumphing Galah/Shutterstock; Wang LiQiang/Shutterstock