PET BIRD PERSONALITIES (11): Ringnecked Parakeets, Rosellas, Senegals, Tanygnathus

Ringnecked Parakeets

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Ringnecked parakeets are slender, long-tailed birds hailing from Africa and Asia. They take their name from the thin ring of feathers around their necks. Most birds are bright green, but blue and lutino (yellow) mutations are available.

The personalities of ringnecked parakeets differ slightly among the species. Indian ringnecks are comical, while Alexandrines are more serious. Plumheads are talkative little scamps, while slatyheads are sweet, quiet birds. Some species are sexually dimorphic, which means the males and females have different plumage, while others are not.

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Broadly, ringnecks enjoy attention more than they like being handled.

Ringnecks can develop sizable vocabularies, and they can learn to perform tricks. These active parrots need large cages in which to exercise and to protect their plumage from damage. Their diets should include a good-quality seed mix sup-plemented with fresh fruits and vegetables.


Rosellas are small, colorful parrots from Australia. They are predominantly known as aviary subjects, but they can also be kept as single pet birds. Rosella owners must realize that these birds are not naturally cuddly birds and like their space. Some birds can be pugnacious.

Eight species of rosella have been recognized in aviculture. Each species has well-defined white or yellow cheek patches and a scalloped pattern on the back. Rosellas need to be housed in large cages or aviaries. They are active fliers and need regular opportunities to exercise. Offer them a good-quality seed mix and some fresh foods to eat.


Senegals are small African parrots from the Poicephalus genus that also includes Jardine’s, Meyer’s, and red-bellied parrots. Senegals may learn to talk and can per-form tricks. They are noted for their chewing ability. Some Senegals may become nippy after they are weaned, and they can be strong-willed pets. Their small size and relatively low noise level make them good candidates for apartment living.

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Senegals can be housed in medium-sized cages, and they should be provided with a variety of toys. Their diet should include a good-quality seed mix or pel-lets supplemented with fresh foods.


Tanygnathus (pronounced tan-IG-nay-thus) parrots are found in the Philippine Islands and Indonesia. The genus includes the great-billed parrot, the Muller’s parrot, and the blue-naped parrot.

Tanygnathus are predominantly green birds with reddish or coral-colored beaks. In this genus, females tend to be more dominant than males; therefore, male birds may make better pets.

Tanygnathus love frequent baths, so owners must provide opportunities for their birds to bathe. They are also noted for their chewing ability, and they need an ample supply of chewable toys.

A good-quality seed mix and some fresh foods should provide an adequate diet for Tanygnathus. They need to be housed in large cages. (Source: Julia Rach Mancini: Why Does My Birds Do That?)

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