Port Lincoln Parrots
The Port Lincoln Parrots (Barnardius zonarius aka Platycercus zonarius) are indigenous to the interior of central and south-central Australia, west to central and southeast areas of Western Australia.
These parrots all have a green body and a yellow ring or collar around their necks and are referred to as Australian Ringnecks.
The Port Lincoln Parrot averages 14.5 - 15.2 inches (~ 37 - 38 cm) in length.
The plumage is mostly green. The head is dull black with cheeks tinged bluish. Some birds have a narrow red band to forehead. There is a yellow band to the nape. The lower back, upper tail-coverts and lesser wing-coverts are blue-green. The outer wing-coverts are yellowish-green. The throat and breast are bluish-green. The abdomen is yellow turning yellowish-green on the under tail-coverts. The under wing-coverts are blue. The middle tail-feathers are bronze-green with blue tips. The outer tail-feathers are blue with pale tips. The bill is grey-horn colored. The narrow periophthalmic ring is grey. The iris is dark brown and the feet grey.
Females have a slightly paler plumage. Her head is mostly brownish-black; and occasionally they have pale under-wing stripes.
Immatures have duller plumage. Their head is brownish. The under-wing stripe is present in young females, but usually absent in young males.
Port Lincoln Parrots as Pets:
The Port Lincoln is quite easy to care for compared to other parrots, as long as you can accommodate its need for space and are not looking for a cuddly pet.
Ringneck parrots are less demanding than other parrot species, which makes them an excellent choice for someone who wants to "step up" from an easy-going and easy-care cockatiel or budgie.
Consistent training and behavioral guidance from a young age is recommended to ensure potential owners enjoy a bird free of destructive and annoying habits.
Behavioral challenges that ringnecks present include:
- Chewing: Any parrot will chew. In nature, they use their beak to "customize" their favorite tree, to enlarge the size of their nest in a tree hollow. Doing this keeps their beaks in good condition. The problem is excessive and undesirable chewing. Undisciplined ringnecks may chew on electric wiring potentially causing house fires. The owner needs to provide plenty of "healthy" chewing opportunities (bird toys, natural wood branches, etc.) and training is necessary to teach a parrot what is "off-limits."
- Jealousy / Aggression: The ringneck parrots can be jealous of other family members and pets. They can develop a bond with only one human and refuse to interact with other people, even attacking them in some cases. Although this is a small bird it does not seem to believe so, and will attack larger birds and even dogs if it feels it or its human is threatened. Owners should be cautious in multiple-pet homes. Continuing to socialize the hand reared pet bird from a young age and letting many people handle and interact with it can prevent single-person bonding and allow it to become an excellent family pet.
- Noise: They can be noisy - albeit not as noisy as their larger cousins. Not everybody can tolerate the natural call of a ringneck parrot, and even though it can't (or should not) be entirely eliminated, there are ways to discourage screaming / screeching in your pet. Ringnecks areknown for their talking and whistling ability, and teaching and encouraging your pet to talk is one way to reduce undesirable screeching in your pet.
Continuous obedience training is recommended ...
- AvianWeb Resources: I put together web resources for you to help you understand your pet bird and properly direct him. Please visit this website for valuable tips on parrot behavior and training. If you found a way to resolve a "parrot behavioral issue" please share it with others.
- If you are, as I am, a visual learner and prefer step-by-step instructions to train your pet, I recommend:
- Procuring your Parrot
- Click here for a Breeders Listing
- Ringnecks love to climb and play and need to be provided with a cage that allows them to move around freely and toys to entertain themselves with. Info on Housing Your Bird
- The 3 Key Elements to Your Pet Bird's Happiness and Health
- Training Your Bird
- Bird Nutrition
- Parrot Products
Port Lincoln Parrots are relatively easy to breed, as long as their need for space has been accommodated. They do require roomy aviaries.
These parrots spend considerable time preparing the choosing and preparing the nesting site. They line the bottom of the tree hollow or nest box with decaying wood dust and make a shallow depression for the eggs.
The courting male chatters constantly while crouching in front of the female, with his tail fanned and moving quickly from side to side. During this mating display, he squares his shoulders and wings and vibrates them slightly.
They are aggressive towards other birds, and it's best to house them one pair per aviary. The minimum aviary size should be about 10 feet (3 meters) in length and 3 to 3.5 feet (about one meter) wide. Double wiring between each aviary flight is necessary. Non-toxic leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up. This will entertain the birds and give the birds some beak exercise. Natural branches of various diameters, and placed at various angles, make great perches.
They require a quality parrot seed mix along with a variety of fruits, green leafy vegetables and vegetables. Seeding grasses and green can be offered.
Sprouted or germinated seeds are usually more easily accepted by "seed addicts" than fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Sprouted seeds are healthier as the sprouting changes and enhances the nutritional quality and value of seeds and grains. Sprouted seeds are lower in fat, as the process of sprouting utilizes the fat in the seed to start the growing process - thus reducing the fat stored in the seeds.
- Sprouted seeds will help balance your bird’s diet by adding a nutritious supply of high in vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll.
- Soaked and germinated "oil" seeds, like niger and rape seeds, are rich in protein and carbohydrates; while "starch" seeds, such as canary and millets, are rich in carbohydrates, but lower in protein.
- It is an invaluable food at all times; however, it is especially important for breeding or molting birds. Sprouted seeds also serve as a great rearing and weaning food as the softened shell is easier to break by chicks and gets them used to the texture of seeds.
- For more on parrot nutrition, please click here.
Dimensions are average and can vary widely, influenced by the bird's and the owner's preferences. Parent bird's preferences can be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which they have been raised. Offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, will allow the parent birds to make their own choice. Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season. Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed.
They will readily nests in natural logs or nest boxes (24" x 24" high - floor area: 8 x 8 inches). The inspection hole should be around 4 inches (square or round). A removable top / lid is recommended for easy inspections and for cleaning. The best location for the nest box / log is high in the covered part of the aviary, but not too close to the roof to be affected by heat from the roof in the summer months.
Hens lay four to seven white eggs. Incubation takes approximately 21 days, with the hen incubating alone. The young birds fledge after about 38 days.
The young should be removed from the parent birds after they have become fully independent to avoid possible aggression from a parent bird and to allow the adult pair to possibly start another clutch.
The young reach full plumage at 14 to 15 months of age.
- Please visit this webpage for more detailed information on breeding.
Ringneck Parrots are generally hardy birds. However, the following diseases have been reported in this species:
- Aspergillosis (fungal disease)
- Bacterial infections (pneumonia)
- Hypovitaminosis A
Species: Scientific: Platycercus zonarius zonarius aka Barnardius zonarius zonarius ... English: Port Lincoln Parrot, Yellow-banded Parrot ... Dutch: Port Lincoln Parkiet, Ring Rosella ... German: Bauers Ringsittich ... French: Rosella à barbe bleu
Distribution: North-central Western Australia from Pilbara south to Wiluna and Murchison River.
Description: As zonarius, but generally paler; head grey-black; cheeks and lower ear-coverts pale blue; abdomen and under tail-coverts pale yellow; smaller. Female as male. ... Length: 35 cm (13.75 ins)
Species: Scientific: Platycercus zonarius occidentalis aka Barnardius zonarius occidentalis ... English: Paler Port Lincoln Parrot ... Dutch: Bleke Port Lincoln Parkiet ... German: Blasser Bauers Ringsittich ... French: Rosella à barbe bleu occidentale
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