Bourke’s Parakeet

Bourke’s Parakeet / Bourkes Parakeet

Scientific Name: Neopsephotus bourkii

Origin: Australia

Average Lifespan: Up to 10 – 15 years

Size: Small, 7 ½ inches

Color: Mainly brown, pink abdomen and breast

Sounds: Relatively quiet

Interaction: Social

bourkes parakeet in cage

Photo: Mary Shattock | Flickr

Physical Characteristics of Bourke’s Parakeet

The plumage color of a Bourke’s parakeet is mainly brown. Its breast down to the abdominal area is pink while the rump is blue in color. The legs are dark brown.  Both male and female have yellowish brown bill. The gender of this specie can be visually determined as the male parakeet is relatively larger and has blue-brown crown while females possess gray head and are a bit smaller in size. Also the female’s eye circles are white. Juveniles can look similar to the female parakeet because of its grey head but the color will eventually fade to its natural color when they reach beyond the age of 9 months. The reddish-brown shade of the Bourke’s parakeet helps them to blend in the ground and avoid predators.

Personality and Temperament

This specie is known for being peace loving. They get along very well with other species in aviaries particularly other peaceful species like the Barraband’s parakeet and other Australian parakeet species.  They could be quiet and have no potential to become talkers, but they can create beautiful sound at times with melodious chirps and relaxing whistling sound.

Pet bird owners love this specie for being sweet and gentle. They have very endearing disposition and are good natured pets. When hand-fed at young age, these pets could be very attached with their humans. They are intelligent and can keep themselves busy and well entertained. Bird experts recommend this specie to those beginner pet owners. There is never any recorded case of aggression towards their own specie or even to others.

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Health and Care

The Bourkes parakeet is a less active bird compared to other parakeet species that is why it is recommended for pet owners to allow this specie an out of the cage time for at least 2 hours for play and recreation. This is important to maintain good health and well-being. In the wild, this species commonly look for food in the grasses as they eat grass and plant-based food.  They are also tagged as grass parakeets.

Aside from formulated bird seeds, it is highly recommended to offer them variety of bird foods such as berries, fruits, and edible insects. Their bird seeds must be similar to those being offered to budgies and smaller birds similar to them. Vegetables and sprouted seeds can also be given to them as these are good source of bird nutrition.

Bourkes parakeet would do well in planted aviaries but if not available, large cages where they can fly with less limitation will also do well. They must not be exposed to damp areas and temperature of more than 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit. When proper care and maintenance is given, this specie could extend their life beyond their average life span.

History and Background of Bourkes Parakeet

This specie has been discovered by Sir Thomas L. Mitchell in 1838, New South Wales.  They named it after Sir Richard Bourke who was the governor of the Australian State New South Wales during the time of discovery.

It has been listed endangered in their native country but in the US, they seem to be breeding very well and available as pets. They are loyal to their partners or monogamous in terms of pairing these birds.  They could breed anytime of the year in which the female parakeet can produce up to 6 eggs per clutch incubated within 18 to 20 days.

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The male parakeet is in charge of feeding the female and he gives her time away from him to care for the chicks until they start to fledge at around 4 weeks. The chicks become fully independent and ready to leave the nest as early as 7 weeks of age.

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