Kakariki Care Guide & Profile – Parrot Essentials

Thinking about adding a Kakariki to your feathered family? Great choice! Learn the basic facts and housing requirements for this New Zealand parrot with Parrot Essentials’ Kakariki Care Guide. Find out all about their food requirements and if Kakarikis are suitable parrots to keep as pets.

Common nameKakariki, kākāriki, New Zealand parakeet
Scientific nameCyanoramphus novaezelandiae (Red-fronted Kakariki), Cyanoramphus auriceps (Yellow-fronted Kakariki), Cyanoramphus malherbi (Orange-fronted Kakariki)
Length25-28 cm (10-13 in)
Weight50-65 gr (2.3 oz)
Lifespan12-15 years

Kakariki origin

Kakariki species are native to New Zealand, although they have become endangered due to habitat destruction.

Red-fronted Kakariki are scarce on the mainland, so you will likely only find them on the surrounding islands. The Yellow-fronted and Orange-fronted varieties can exist on the mainland but it is uncommon.

Kakariki noise level

The level of noise produced by the average Kakariki, as compared to other parrots, can be considered moderate. They can absolutely screech and talk very loudly, but it is uncommon. This makes them great birds for people who don’t deal well with the noisier parrot species.

When Kakarikis do make noise, it’s typically a ‘ki-ki-ki-ki’ sort of chatter.

Kakariki Care Guide & Facts
Kakariki Care Guide and Origin Information
Kakariki Care Guid - Pair of Birds

Kakariki intelligence

Kakarikis are one of the most playful and intelligent parrot species. They’re often overlooked and not among the more popular species out there, but they are extremely inquisitive and constantly on the move.

Always up to something, their comical antics will never fail to amuse you. Their quirky personalities make them easy to bond closely with for their owner.

Kakariki talking ability

Kakarikis are not known for their talking ability, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the capability to imitate human speech and other sounds at all. They can absolutely learn words and phrases with some patience and training.

The species’ calls are distinctive and you’ll learn to recognize them anywhere. In-flight or when alarmed, they will emit prolonged repetitive series of notes. Whether it is soft goofy mumbling, remarkably talented talking, or just simple mimicry, the Kakariki will always put a smile on your face.

Feather plucking in Kakarikis

Kakarikis are not known to pluck their feathers. If yours does, consider any 3 of the most common causes: medical, environmental and behavioural. Parrots will often begin over-preening and pulling out their feathers if they are stressed due to lack of social contact, enrichment and/or mental stimulation.

Kakariki care: Housing

  • You should always use a secure cage with double doors – Kakarikis are known to escape!
  • The cage must be safe with no hazardous materials, and free of rust
  • Kakarikis love to bathe, so make sure fresh water is available in their cage at all times!
  • Kakarikis are very active and energetic birds, so the bigger the cage, the better!
  • Because of their mobility, they should never be kept in a small aviary as a minimum. If your Kakariki will be in its enclosure full-time, the aviary should measure 3.6 metres long x 0.9 metres wide x 1.8 metres high at least.

Kakariki care: Feeding & supplements

  • Dry and sprouted seeds should form the basis of the diet, as this is what the species would naturally eat.
  • Treats to feed your Kakariki include millet, fruits, sweetcorn, carrots & celery.
  • Kakariki love their greens! Kale, rocket, and spinach can be fed daily!
  • They are messy eaters, so make the cage easy to clean with a removable liner. It can even be a good idea to go for a mess-free bird feeder, or you’ll have to count on hoovering very often.
  • Like most parrots, this species loves foraging! It’s a great way to get your parrot working for its food. Be sure to buy or DIY a foraging box and other fun foraging toys.

Kakariki facts

  • Kakariki translates to “small parrot” in Maori. “Kaka” means parrot, and “riki” means small.
  • Kakarikis are usually solitary or found in pairs, although in autumn and winter they may form small flocks.
  • The female incubates 5–9 eggs for around 20 days until they hatch. Both birds assist with the feeding of the young.
  • Most of the subspecies are native to New Zealand and have become endangered as a result of habitat destruction following European settlement. Another pressing problem that has popped up for the species in recent years is nest predation by introduced species of mammals.
  • The Kakariki are probably the most active of all parrots, seldom staying still, never moving slowly and often seen running up and down the wire of the aviary or cage without even using their beaks.
  • Kakarikis are generally said not to be the most playful with toys in their environment. Yours would probably enjoy and benefit more from different types of perches, swings and occasionally wooden or plastic balls. They will chew whatever they have, so be aware that toys may be destroyed along the way.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for the right parrot species to add to your family, consider one or multiple Kakarikis. These colorful, active and playful parakeets are a joy to have in the home! Kakariki care is not overly complicated and the species is suitable for beginners.

14 Replies to “Kakariki Care Guide & Profile – Parrot Essentials”

    1. Hi Linda,
      Parrot Essentials has a large selection of seed diets suitable for Kakariki Parrots.
      Here is a link to all the parrot food we do https://www.parrotessentials.co.uk/parrot-seed-food-and-bird-seed/
      For your Kakariki I would recommend the Tidymix Parakeet Food https://www.parrotessentials.co.uk/products/Tidymix-Parakeet-Diet-2.3kg.html
      If you have any more questions please call us on 0800 327 7511 and ask for me (Anguel).
      I will gladly assist you.
      Anguel

  1. I have a young female K who I let out into the flat for at least an hour a day.The thing is she is quite aggressive (she used to land on my shoulder or arm and bite hard enough to draw blood-she rarely comes near me now)and destructive(pictures,books,cd’s). Am I doing anything wrong? Would she benefit from a mate or companion? Her diet is quite varied,apart from the standard parakeet mix,I always make sure she has extra chilies + greens.She also loves cooked sweetcorn +raspberries. Any advice you could give would be welcomed.Thank you

    1. Hi Tony,

      Changing behaviour such as biting is a complex issue so it will be best if you contact us on 0845 258 8000 and ask for Anguel.

      He will be able to advise you on what is the best steps that you need to take.

      Kind regards,

      Ben

  2. Hello, given the recommended minimum aviary size 3600x900x1800 I assume it is ok to keep these outside in the SE of England? Would they need heating?

    1. Hi Guy,

      Yes, you can keep Kakariki outside in some part of the UK as long as you provide an area in the aviary where your burds can be protected from rain and wind.
      But it all depends on where the aviary is located and how cold does it get at night.

      Anguel

    1. Hi Alice,
      This is not normal, especially if you do not want to breed.
      I would suggest you take your Kakariki to a Vet to be checked and make sure it is healthy.
      Constantly laying eggs can be exhausting to your parrot and lead to vitamin and mineral deficiency.
      Change the diet to a healthy, less fatty diet. Pellets are a good option.
      Last but not least offer a Vitamin and Mineral supplement to your parrot, especially calcium with vitamin D3.
      For more information and assistance please contact us on 0800 327 7511 and ask for Anguel.

  3. My kakariki is 10 month old laid 3 eggs in March then now she lay 1 egg every 2 weeks just 1 egg each time is these normal this is the first time I ask

    1. Hi Alice,
      This is not normal, especially if you do not want to breed.
      I would suggest you take your Kakariki to a Vet to be checked and make sure it is healthy.
      Constantly laying eggs can be exhausting to your parrot and lead to vitamin and mineral deficiency.
      Change the diet to a healthy, less fatty diet. Pellets are a good option.
      Last but not least offer a Vitamin and Mineral supplement to your parrot, especially calcium with vitamin D3.
      For more information and assistance please contact us on 0800 327 7511 and ask for Anguel.

  4. My Kakariki Chester will be 12 months old end of April. He is male will his hormones calm down, I have many bits on my hand if he see flesh he goes for it, he is very territorial when I try to clean and put fresh good in his cage. When using the computer he goes for my hand. Will he calm down? I have read about giving dry goji berries to calm m down but also read it could be poisonenes to them he eats various herbs including mint which I was told would help, at night he comes in and out of his cage and flies around might come and sit on my leg but that is the closest he will go.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.