550pxRueppells_Parrot1.jpg

Ruppell Parrot

The Ruppell’s parrot originates from the south west coast of Africa in a small region between Namibia and Southern Angola.

Their general appearance is of a predominately grey/brown body with bright yellow shoulder wing top and yellow at the base of the legs. The rump of the female is a striking blue colour. The cock bird is devoid of this so sexing adult mature birds is relatively simple

Although keep in mind all the young offspring will have the blue rump until they moult out into adult plumage. Sexing birds from a year to 18 months is relatively easy and should not present many problems.

Ruppell’s parrots are very quiet and can be quite shy although they are highly intelligent. When I bred Ruppell’s in the UK they were very subdued when you were in the aviary. As a result I installed a couple of webcams to see what they actually got up to. It was quite an insight, they clambered all over the suspended cage and used to hide food from each other and almost play hide and seek with it. Not quite sure if this was typical behaviour but my birds seemed to love it.

Four or five years ago when I kept them in the UK they were not that readily available and it proved to be a real struggle to get a replacement hen, when sadly I lost mine. However, there were a couple of large breeders in the South of England. If you happen to be unlucky enough to lose one of your breeding pair it can prove very difficult to replace the lost bird, this has become even more apparent with me moving to New Zealand. The gene pool and the species available in NZ make it increasingly difficult to breed rare birds like the Ruppell’s parrot.

As previously mentioned these birds are visually sexed so there is no need for DNA testing unless you are buying juvenile birds. So once you have an established pair breeding it is relatively easy. Like most of the parrots I have kept over the years, I leave them to themselves but did keep them entertained by hiding food in wooden tubes, giving them hardwood branches to destroy or leaving music on in the aviary.

Once you have established a breeding pair a standard clutch is between 3 to 5 eggs with the eggs normally laid 2 days apart. The incubation is carried out by the hen although the cock bird does sit in the nest box with her.

A fertile egg usually hatches after 27 days and birds for hand rearing should be left with the parents for at least two to three weeks.

Ruppell’s Parrots make fantastic hand reared pets, they make excellent companions and have been known to speak.

They are incredibly inquisitive birds and do require a lot of stimulation to keep their imagination satisfied but amazingly rewarding birds to keep and breed.