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 name||Kakariki, kākāriki, New Zealand parakeet|
|Scientific name||Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae (Red-fronted Kakariki), Cyanoramphus auriceps (Yellow-fronted Kakariki), Cyanoramphus malherbi (Orange-fronted Kakariki)|
|Length||25-28 cm (10-13 in)|
|Weight||50-65 gr (2.3 oz)|
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.
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 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.
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.