Piper – Indian Ringneck
Piper is an albino Indian Ringneck parakeet that came to us from a rescue group. We were hesitant to accept Indian Ringneck parakeets at the sanctuary because they love to chew on wood and at the time, our aviaries were made of wood. There were several Indian Ringnecks that the rescue wanted us to take because the birds were not suitable as companion birds and needed to be housed in a large aviary. We kept hoping that some one else would take the Ringnecks but when this did not happen, we agreed to accept the birds. Piper was the main catalyst for our decision. She was so afraid of people (human hands in particular were terrifying for her) that she would hit her head against the side of her cage when ever her cage was cleaned. Even being given food and water was difficult for her since it meant that she would have to endure being close to a human hand.
Piper choose the very best situated nest box in the Last Aviary. It’s located high up on a center pole. From this vantage point she can spot any one entering the sanctuary grounds and give an alarm. She no longer exhibits any fear because she does not have to be close to people. Indian Ringnecks are cavity dwellers, which is why we provide logs with holes in them for these birds. Since Indian Ringnecks are not endangered in the wild, we do not allow ours to breed here. How do we control this? We keep only females.
If you’d like to see Piper in action, watch her on our bird cam.
The following information comes from Wikipedia
The Rose-ringed Parakeet, also known as the Ringnecked Parakeet, is a gregarious tropical parakeet species that has an extremely large range. Since the trend of the population appears to be increasing, the species has been evaluated as Least Concern by the IUCN in 2009. Rose-ringed parakeets are popular aspets all over the world and throughout history.
This non-migrating species is one of few parrot species that have successfully adapted to living in ‘disturbed habitats’, and in that way withstood the onslaught of urbanization and deforestation. In the wild, this is a noisy species with an unmistakable squawking call. These parakeets measure on average 40 cm (16 in) in length including the tail feathers which account for a large portion of their total length. African subspecies have slender bodies and usually display longer tail feathers which are exaggerated in mature male specimens than Asian subspecies, which typically have stockier bodies. The former usually display darker, brownish-red upper mandibles, while the latter always display bright red upper mandibles. As is the case with all Afro-Asian Ringneck parakeet species, the Rose-ringed parakeet is sexually dimorphic, meaning the difference between males and females is visible to the human eye. The adult male sports a black neck-ring and pink nape-band while the hen and immature birds of both sexes either show no neck rings, or display shadow-like pale to dark gray neck-rings, and nape-bands that are lighter colored than the surroundings.
In the wild, Rose-ringed parakeets usually feed on buds, fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries and seeds. Wild flocks also fly several miles to forage in farmlands and orchards causing extensive damage. They have been found to feed extensively on pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) during winter in India. They also breed during winter, unlike most other South Asian birds.
Rose-ringed Parakeets are popular as pets and they have a long history in aviculture. The ancient Greeks kept the Indian subspecies P. krameri manillensis, and the ancient Romans kept the African subspecies P. krameri krameri. Colour mutations and albino specimens of the Indian-ringnecked Parakeet like Piper, have become widely available in recent years.
Both males and females have the ability to mimic human speech. First it listens to its surroundings, and then it copies the voice of the human speaker. Some people hand-raise Rose-ringed parakeet chicks for this purpose. Such parrots then become quite tame and receptive to learning. They can also show emotions similar to human beings and adjust easily to family life.
The Rose-ringed Parakeet has a number of established feral populations in India, Europe, South Africa, and Japan. There are also apparently stable populations in the USA and a small self-sustaining population in Iran. They are also found throughout Lebanon, Israel, UAE, Bahrain, and Oman. There is also a small number of escaped birds in Australia.
The European populations became established during the mid to late 20th Century from introduced and escaped birds. There are two main population centers in Britain: the largest is based around south London, where they can be regularly seen; the smaller population can be seen in Esher and Berkshire. However, in some parts of South Asia—from where the Rose-ringed Parakeets originated—populations of these birds are decreasing due to trapping for the pet trade. Despite some people’s attempts to revive their population by freeing these birds from local markets, the Rose-ringed Parakeet’s population has dropped drastically in many areas of the Indian subcontinent.