December 30, 2018 PetGuide
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Rock Parrot

  • Size: 9 inches
  • Lifespan: 12+ years
  • Bird Species: Parrot
  • Colors: Olive green
  • Sounds: Vocal, Natural calls, Moderately Noisy, Whistler
  • Interaction: Social, Smart, Fun, Affectionate, Docile, Friendly
  • Comparable Breeds: Bourke’s Parakeet, Turquoise Parrot

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These cute, chubby birds are a part of the Australian Grass Parrot family. The Rock Parrot, also known as Rock Elegant, can thank the charming looks, and friendly, spirited personality for its popularity. Even though a pet Rock Parrot might require a little bit more care and patience than some of the other parrots of their species, it is more than worth the effort. In return for your love and care, you can expect to get a loyal feathered friend.

These birds thrive best in an aviary setting, where they can enjoy more freedom and a lifestyle closer to their natural one.

As their name suggests, these parrots are found in some of the rockier, coastal areas of Southern Australian regions. Their habitat spans from Robe in the south, all the way to Shark Bay in the west. They are almost always near the sea level and choose to breed on small islets offshore. This gives them a good defense against potential predators. They are also seen in coastal shrublands, arid areas, and mangroves. They are a species of least concern, and their numbers are stable.

The Neophema genus holds some of the most popular pet parrots in Australia, like the Elegant and Turquoise Parrot. Usually, they share some distinct traits among themselves, which makes them easy to categorize. Rock Parrot is a clear example of its family, with its round, chubby body, a small head, and an even smaller beak, and a  tapered long tail that’s easy to spot. The adults reach an average length of 9 inches (22 centimeters) and can weigh around 2.5 ounces (70 grams). Keep in mind that almost half of their overall length is reserved for the tail.

Even though it’s not really big, the Rock Parrot will need plenty of space to be happy. They are susceptible to obesity if not given enough room to roam and explore. An aviary or a bird room are perfect choices for this type of pet bird.

The Rock Parrot is not too loud, which makes them a good choice for apartment dwellers worried about noise levels. During flight or feeding time, they can repeat their natural call, consisting of various pitched chirps and tweet sounds. But in general, they are very easy to tolerate and work both as apartment and house pets.

Even if many owners around the world favor parrots that flaunt as many exotic colors as possible, the colorfulness is not always the measure of a parrot’s beauty. Sometimes, there is a graceful charm in simplicity and subtle colors. And the Rock Parrot shows us precisely that. The body is almost entirely olive green, with brown overtones. The lower body and the chest are lighter and yellow. The wing tips and tail are streaked with black and dark blue. Above the beak, there is a single blue band which gives a distinct detail of their own. One look at the Rock Parrot will tell you that their simplicity does not prevent them from being some of the most charming and pretty birds in Australia.

The subtle and simple coloring of the Rock Parrot has a certain graceful charm.

In the wild, these parrots are known as ground feeding and have evolved to a variety of grass seeds and fruits. In captivity, they will need a balanced diet which is best compared to that of the other members of the Neophema family. Small seed mixes, fresh fruits and veggies, and an occasional parrot treat will be a great start. Just make sure to feed the right amounts, as you don’t want your chubby parrot to become obese.

Their lifespan is around 12 years, but with good care and (especially) good diet, a Rock Parrot could live even longer than that. The impressive ability to adapt allowed the Rock Parrot to thrive in a harsh natural habitat. Even so, they’ll need to adjust to household conditions first. Besides a spacious cage, they need freedom of movement around the rooms. Obesity is a real threat for these birds and it’s best counteracted with a balanced diet and plenty of exercise.

Rock Parrots are explorers and goofs. If they lack activity, it will be the main cause for potential weight problems.

These unusual parrots are quite smart and will become inquisitive little explorers if allowed. Often, they will also show their cuddly and affectionate side, so don’t deprive them of the much-needed head scratches and gentle petting. Even if the Rock Parrot is docile and amiable by nature, they’ll still need to be socialized. Social interaction with their owner is an absolute must, as it ensures that they stay happy and friendly pets. With a bit of an effort put into their care and plenty of love, a Rock Parrot will be a great and rewarding pet bird for singles and families alike.

Photo credit: imagevixen/Shutterstock; butupa/Wikimedia Commons

Comparable Breeds

Go to Turquoise Parrot

Turquoise Parrot

  • Size: 8 inches
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Bird Species: Parakeet
  • Colors: Combo green, yellow, & blue
  • Sounds: Quiet, Natural calls, Whistler
  • Interaction: Social, Energetic, Playful, Smart, Fun, Affectionate
  • Comparable Breeds: Elegant Parrot, Budgerigar Parakeet