Red Rump Parakeet — All You Need to Know

If you like birds, you’ll love red rump parakeets.

Red rump parakeets make exceptionally easy pets. They require little care, and they will reward you with their playful intelligence.

Red rump parakeets have a cheerful tweet. Compared to other parakeets, their sounds are more like a song than a chirp.

You can listen to a short recording of red rump parakeets here.

These wonderfully intelligent birds can also imitate human speech. With a little training, they will chat away for hours.

And red rump parakeets are beautiful. Their red rumps accent eye-popping blue, yellow, and green plumage.

Red Rump Parakeet — All You Need to Know

They are the show birds of the Parrot Family. If you love birds, you will want one!

How You Can Buy a Red Rump Parakeet?

Pet stores usually won’t have red rump parakeets for sale, but breeders will.

There are breeders who will raise a red rump parakeet chick until it’s ready for you to come pick it up. Sometimes you can Skype with your future pet while it is being raised by hand at the breeder’s.

There are other breeders who raise lots of red rump parakeets on a regular basis.

They will put you on a waiting list, and ship you your bird by next-day air when it is ready for its new home.

These breeders regularly ship birds by UPS and the US Postal Service all over the 50 US states plus Puerto Rico. (DHS does not accept birds.)

Travel boxes for your bird will be insulated, climate-controlled, and include food, water, and a perch for your bird during the trip.

Birds are not shipped on Fridays, so there is no danger of their being left in a box over the weekend.

If you prefer to see your bird before you bring it home, your best bet is to ask around at pet stores or to visit to find out which sellers are raising red rump parakeets for sale.

You can also find breeders through Facebook pages for red rump parakeet fans.

A bird you pick up yourself will usually cost $200 to $300, while a “designer bird” (a red rump parakeet bred to have all-yellow feathers except for the tail or feathers of brilliant red) will cost $400 to $500 plus shipping.

Things to Know Before Buying a Red Rump Parakeet Online

The first thing you need to know about red rump parakeets is that there can be confusion about their name:

A red rump parakeet is the same bird as a red rump parrot. Both terms apply to the bird with the scientific name Psephotus haematonotus.

Sometimes you will see red rump parakeets advertised as “red rump parrots.”

The reason for the confusion is that red rump parakeets are larger than the average parakeet but smaller than the average parrot.

Red rump parakeets (we’ll use the parakeet designation) grow to be about 11 (27 to 28 cm) inches long.

Not every website will tell you whether you are buying a male or a female. Males have emerald-green feathers with yellow underparts, blue highlights on their wings and upper back, and a brick-red rump.

Females don’t have the vibrant plumage of males. They have dull green feathers on their wings and backs, blackish-blue tips on their wings, pale olive underparts, and no red color on the rump.

Cage or Aviary – Where to keep Red Rump Parakeet

In Australia, not everyone keeps red rump parakeets in cages. Some people build aviaries attached to their homes to give themselves a more natural experience of their birds.

If you are unfamiliar with aviaries, you could think of them as a kind of outdoor sunroom or screened porch dedicated to your pet birds.

They can be a literal sunroom or screened porch. More often, they are just a freestanding structure you can place outdoors in warm weather.

Red rump parakeets are large birds native to open spaces. Male red rump parakeets make sure there is always room for the next generation.

They force young birds from the nest as soon as they are able to fly, attacking them if they stay. They will also attack other adult red rump parakeets in the same cage.

Placing breeding pairs in an aviary reduces tension with the male red rump parakeet. You will still need to find a separate space for the babies as they mature.

Aviaries and cages are OK for one male or a male-female couple. You shouldn’t keep two male red rump parakeets in the same cage or even in the same aviary.

Choosing the Right Aviary for Red Rump Parakeet

A sunroom converted to an aviary will be plenty of room for one or two red rump parakeets. A freestanding aviary that is at least 5 feet (127 cm) tall, will too.

Freestanding aviaries are meant to be used outdoors. Your red rump parakeets will get sick and possibly die if they are exposed to temperatures of 40° F (5° C) or lower.

It’s OK to keep your red rump parakeets outdoors when it’s warm, but they need to be in a heated location indoors in colder weather.

There are huge outdoor aviaries for red rump parakeets even in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, where it can snow in July and August, but they are only used in warmer months.

Another critical feature for your aviary is the wire used to make the mesh that keeps your birds in and predators out.

The best size mesh is 1 in x 1 in (25 mm x 25 mm) or 1-1/2 in x 1 in (38 mm x 25 mm).

This is large enough to let air and sunshine in and also to keep your birds from getting their heads stuck in the mesh.

It’s also small enough to protect your red rump parakeets from cats, raccoons, hawks, squirrels that would eat their eggs, and other predators.

Steel that has been galvanized after it is welded stands up to urine, droppings, and moisture better, and it’s easier to clean.

Choosing the Right Cage for Red Rump Parakeet

It’s important to keep in mind that red rump parakeets are larger than other parakeets, so they need a larger cage.

You also need room for toys, ladders, perches, a bathing bowl, feeder, and water dishes.

A comfortable cage for a single adult red rump parakeet would be about 3 feet wide by 2 feet deep by 4 feet high.

That’s approximately 60 cm by 91 cm by 122 cm. A comfortable cage for a pair of red rump parakeets would be 4 feet wide by 4 feet deep by 5 feet tall, or 123 cm by 123 cm by 152 cm.

Your red rump parakeet could fit in a starter parrot cage at first. But if you start with a larger cage you won’t have to buy one later, and your bird could stay in familiar surroundings.

You can create the equivalent of Disneyland for your red rump parakeet in its cage with clutter and without the problem of toys getting in the way of bathroom activities.

However, it’s not just the cage or aviary you need to have ready for your new red rump parakeet.

Important Considerations for Keeping Red Rump Parakeets Healthy

We have already mentioned that it’s important to keep red rump parakeets out of the cold.

Any temperatures below 68° F (20° C) can stress them if they are not gradually acclimated to them first.

Prevent Teflon poisoning

It’s also important to avoid exposing your birds to cooking fumes from your kitchen.

They react badly to natural gas and to the vapors released by Teflon-coated pots and pans that overheat on the burner and to the use of Teflon-coated pans in the oven.

The chemical reaction that releases the toxic fumes occurs at temperatures over 536° F (280° C).

Known in the medical literature as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) gas poisoning, often the first and only sign of Teflon poisoning is death.

Sometimes sick birds will experience a range of disturbing symptoms, including:

  • Sneezing, wheezing, or gasping for air.
  • Twitches and strange patterns of blinking.
  • Loss of coordination.
  • Inability to stand.
  • Seizures.

If you see these symptoms in your bird, get it as far away from your kitchen as possible as quickly as possible.

Take the overheated Teflon pot or pan off the heat, and air out the room. If you have a travel cage, use it to carry your bird as far away from the fumes as possible.

Provide your birds with enough light

Humans make vitamin D when their skin is exposed to sunlight. Birds need sunlight to make vitamin D, too.

If you can’t arrange for your red rump parakeet to have some time in the sun, consider getting an avian lighting system.

Because birds see in the UV spectrum, the right artificial light will give them better vision. You should also make sure the seed pellets you give your bird are fortified with vitamin D.

Feeding Your Red Rump Parakeet

In nature, red rump parakeets mostly feed on seeds.

They depend on this high-fat food for the energy they need to fly all day long to find food for themselves and for their mate and nestlings.

In captivity, an all-seed diet isn’t the healthiest option for your bird. Not only are seeds too high in fat for relatively sedentary birds, commercial bird seed often lacks nutrients found in nature.

You can compensate for the deficiencies of even the best birdseed by adding small servings (about a tablespoon, or 15 grams) of five different fruits and vegetables every day.

Red rump parakeets enjoy bananas, but they also thrive on sliced apples, orange slices, berries of all kinds, and crunchy green, yellow, and orange vegetables.

Remove any uneaten food that has been in your bird’s cage for more than two hours. And don’t forget to give your red rump parakeet fresh water twice a day.

Red Rump Parakeets Need to Have Fun

There’s just one more requirement for keeping your red rump parakeet active and healthy: Make sure your birds have plenty to do.

Red rump parakeets love a variety of perches, ladders, and toys. They need to interrupt play time for bath time to keep their feathers healthy and shiny.

Don’t forget to provide your birds with a birdbath in their cage.

If you do these things, your red rump parakeet may be around to entertain you for as long as 30 years.

These long-lived birds thrive in captivity when owners provide them with a better home than they could find in the wild.

Get to Know Your Red Rump Parakeet a Little Better

Here are a few facts about red rump parakeets that can help you understand their special needs.

A grassland bird

Red rump parakeets are native to Australia. In their native Australia, they prefer to live in open, dry grasslands near a few trees.

They don’t live in the deserts, like the native budgies, but they don’t like the jungles, like the larger parrots.

These beautiful Australian birds prefer an area with a few old or dead trees they can use to protect their nests.

They spend most of their time on the ground looking for food. When they are communicating among themselves in the grass, instead of entertaining humans from their cages, their call is a pleasant chee chillip chee chillip.

Differences in male and female behavior

Ornithologists (scientists who study birds) have found male and female red rump parakeets don’t just differ in the color of their rump feathers.

Male red rump parakeets are always ready to explore their surroundings. They will boldly investigate any new objects in their domain.

Female red rump parakeets, on the other hand, get more interested in their nests than anything else in their world when it’s time to mate and lay eggs.

Motherhood is a stronger motivator than play for female red rump parakeets, but male red rump parakeets (the ones with the more colorful feathers) are always ready to play.

Very protective of their nests

When there’s been a good rain, ensuring a good harvest of seeds, red rump parakeets will mate. The female will lay four to seven white eggs.

She will guard them 24 hours a day until they hatch. During that time, the male feeds her. Nothing will make the female leave her eggs, not even a human taking a look at her eggs.

Female red rump parakeets in captivity will also fiercely protect their eggs.

Red rump parakeets are ready to breed when they are about a year old. The male will force fledglings out of the nest as soon as they are mature.

That’s true both in the wild and in your birdcage or aviary.

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