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Oliver the Indian Ringneck Parakeet


Oliver the Indian Ringneck Parakeet

Photo (c) 2008 Alyson Burgess licensed to About.com, Inc.




Indian Ringneck Parakeet (Psittacula krameri manillensis.)


Two years.


Unlike most Indian Ringnecks, Oliver never has very much to say. He is rather shy about vocalizing in front of people, preferring to wait until I leave the room to whistle and chirp. I have heard him say "Hello" only once or twice, but his favorite thing to do is to make soft kissy noises whenever he is asked to step up.


Oliver is a very gentle, sweet, and affectionate bird. While he certainly has a playful, impish side, most of the time he wants nothing more that to be held and given endless kisses. While many bird enthusiasts will argue that Indian Ringnecks are hard to tame, Oliver is living proof that they can be just as loving as other species.

Favorite Foods:

Oliver flips head over heels for anything with peanut butter on it. In fact, his love of peanut butter led me to develop a special bird recipe for peanut butter raisin pockets. He is also a big fan of broccoli, sprouts, eggs, and fruit. He is the best eater of all my birds, and isn't afraid to try anything. Fresh foods are his favorite, so when the summer garden yields plenty of red peppers, berries, and other tasty, bird-safe treats, he is always one happy camper!

Favorite Toys:

As far as toys go, Oliver isn't too picky. He will play with a cheap, disposable homemade toy just as readily as he will an expensive, store bought one. His favorite toys seem to be paper ones, as he loves to shred them into confetti. He also enjoys wicker balls, as well as small wooden blocks that he can chew on and toss around.

Favorite Games:

From the moment someone picks Oliver up, he starts giving kissy noises and pinning his eyes. He and I turned this into "the kissy game" when he was young. I will place Oliver on the back of our couch, and he will hop down to the far end. He'll then slowly prance his way back to where I am seated, flashing his eyes, wings, and tailfeathers the whole way. When he gets close enough, I'll give him a quick kiss when he least suspects it, causing him to bob his head and pin his eyes wildly. Then it's back down to the far end of the couch, to do it all over again. He's such a funny little bird!

Worst Habit:

Oliver, like many birds, likes to steal shiny objects, such as coins, metallic pens, and even fingernail clippers! He must be under close supervision when he is out of his cage, because his curiosity always gets the best of him.

How I Got Oliver:

I purchased Oliver from a wonderful breeder at a local exotic bird fair in April of 2006. He was 8 weeks old at the time, and had a certain spunk about him that I just couldn't resist. I had planned on adding an Indian Ringneck to my family for quite a while, but was waiting for just the right one -- I knew that Oliver was it the moment I laid eyes on him!

From day one, Oliver showed a fearless curiosity about the world around him. I immediately knew that I'd have to keep a close eye on this little devil. True to my instinct, Oliver takes every opportunity to get into things that he shouldn't, such as stacks of papers, candy dishes, drinks, and plates of food. While keeping up with him can be a task, some part of me admires his tenacity, and I wouldn't trade him from the world.

When Oliver began to mature and get his beautiful rings, he went through the notorious bluffing stage that young Ringnecks are famous for. While he did get a little bit nippy for a time, the phase soon passed and he turned right back into the sweet, affectionate bird that he always was. He is very much part of my family and I can't imagine life without him!

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