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- Scientific Name: Yellow crowned =
Cyanoramphus auriceps auriceps. Red crowned = Nominate form,
Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae novaezelandiae.
- Common Name/s: Two
species in Australia. Yellow crowned Kakariki, and the Red crowned
Kakariki. Also referred as YELLOW FRONTED KAKARIKI, RED FRONTED
- Photo donated by Sarah &
(Click on photo- Red
crowned- to enlarge)
- Sub Species in country / area of origin:
Yellow crowned = 2. Red crowned = 8
- Origin / Distribution: New Zealand
and surrounding islands.
- Habitat In Wild:
Forests and shrubby areas.
- Status In Wild: Rare.
Few found in New Zealand with mainly found on offshore islands.
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
Both secure with the Red crowned being more common.
- Age To Sexual Maturity: About
4 - 6
- Adult plumage: attained at about
- Best breeding years (estimate):
12 months up to year 10.
- Colour mutations: Yes, but not
- Availability: Bird dealers.
- Temperament: Although they are a
very active bird, they are generally peaceful birds that can be kept
in a mixed collection. Breed best when kept one pair per aviary.
As both colour forms will hybridize, the two colours must not be
kept in the same cage or aviary flight. May breed throughout the
year, however breeding should be discouraged during the hotter
months. They can be prolific breeders. Generally do not chew
timber framed aviaries.
Often described as the "clowns" of the parrot world.
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: -
Normal colour Both (Approx.) $120
- Description Of Adults: Yellow
- Length: Yellow = Approx. 230 - 260 mm
(or approx 9.5 - 10 inches). Red = Approx. 260 - 280 mm (or approx
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
- Weight: Approx. Yellow
= 40 - 50 gms. Red = 70 - 80 gms approx.
Level Of Knowledge
Required: Beginner /
Intermediate / Advanced /
Specialist Breeders Only.
Government Regulations & By-Laws: Refer to " Government Laws " web page.
Refer to " Housing Birds "
web page for general details on the housing of Non Australian Parrots or
read on for specific details for this parrot.
Do not house Red and Yellow Kakariki
together as they will hybridize. Keep the two types genetically
Generally not destructive of timber in
an aviary. Prefer an aviary of up to 4 metre long. Double wiring between
aviaries is advisable to avoid any biting aggression injuries. An
aviary should be at least 2 metres ( 7 feet) long.
Their natural habitat is from cool
areas. Care must be taken when these birds are housed in warmer
climates as they may be susceptible to heat stress in
summer. A shaded aviary may help the aviary and nest remain cool
in the summer months.
May be housed in a mixed collection or
as a colony of the same species of Kakariki pairs but best results occur as one pair per aviary.
Best results occur when housed as one
pair per aviary.
Non-toxic leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up.
This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds
some beak exercise. Natural branches can be used for perches. These
natural perches will be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced
regularly. The birds will chew any flowers and fruiting
bodies on the branches.
Diet / Feeding:
Refer to " Feeding Birds "
web page for general details on the feeding of Non Australian Parrots or
read on for specific details for this parrot.
An aviary diet for the Kakariki can include a basic seed mix of grey sunflower, budgie mix and oats.
Budgie mix is mostly panicum, white millet, plain canary, jap millet and hulled oats.
The grey sunflower can be placed in a separate container so the amount
can be monitored and controlled.
fruits, vegetables, greens, green leafy vegetables, seeding grasses and other seeds as
well as parrot pellets and dry dog food can be offered.
Corn-on-the-cob is commonly fed.
Green leafy vegetables can include silverbeet, endive, spinach, cos
lettuce and celery. Small quantities of Plain Madeira
cake and wholemeal or multigrain bread can be offered. Some consume insects such
as mealworms (including the larvae, pupae and beetle), especially around breeding time. Calcium supplies
such as cuttlefish, shell grit, crushed oyster shell or calcium blocks
should always be available. They love chewing on
branches. Soaked or sprouted seed if
A basic overview only. Dimensions are typical / average and
can vary widely, influenced by the owner's preferences and the birds
preferences. Parent bird's preferences can also be influenced by
the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared.
If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their
own choice. Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and
been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season.
Try and keep that one for their exclusive use. Once a pair has
chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed.
If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight,
ensure the log / nest-box is cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the
minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.
- Nesting months: Spring
and Autumn. Summer months are usually avoided to minimize the
chances of heat stress. May breed year round if conditions are
- Log / Nest-box:
/ depth 350 mm (or approx. 14 inches)
- Log internal
diameter approx. 200 - 225 mm. (or approx. 8- 9
- Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 200
mm square (or approx. 8 inches square)
- Diameter of
hole approx. 65 - 70 mm (or approx. 2.5 - 3 inches)
- Inspection hole (square or round)
(or approx 4 inches)
- A removable top / lid can be a
useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
- Location and height
of log / nest-box = in a sheltered part of the aviary and at about
1.5 - 1.8 metres height, but not too close to the roof to cause heat
problems in the hotter months. The Kakariki is from a cool
climate and the nest-box or log should have an easily removable
lid/top that can be removed during the warm weather. Some
keepers drill ventilation holes in the upper part of the nest/log to
improve air flow and reduce temperature build up.
- Angle of log or nest box = 45 degrees through to vertical or near
- Nesting log / nest-box material: Decomposed non-toxic saw
dust, wood shavings or other suitable material/s.
- Who incubates the egg/s:
Hen / cock / both share.
Generally bred in nest boxes. Occasional nest inspection is
generally well tolerated, however keep nest inspections
to a minimum. They will
roost in the nest-box/log year round.
The young may return to the nest after
they fledge, so a spare nest box may be needed to allow the hen to start
another clutch of eggs.
Timber nest-boxes generally require a
climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Both
logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening about 100mm (about 4 inches) from the top. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole
to be just big enough to squeeze through.
More details on
parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of
parrot nestbox/log photos
can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests"
and "parrot nestbox photos"
web pages. Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests"
and "parrot nestbox photos" in
the navigation bars.
Egg Colour White. Clutch/s
per year up to 3. Eggs per nest 5 - 8.
19 - 23 days. Fledge approx. 5 - 6 weeks. Independent approx.
another 3 weeks.
Breeding can occur at a very early age,
sometimes 4 months of age,
and to prevent hens laying at too early the hens can be held in another
aviary till they have reached the necessary maturity and the weather
conditions are optimal. Minimum breeding age for hens should be 9
months of age. Pairs should be restricted to no more than 3
clutches per year.
Bonded pairs usually show no aggression
to each other. If birds are not compatible and do not "pair up",
it is easy to change the birds and introduce both birds to new partners.
The Kakariki is usually a good parent.
Young should be removed from the parent
birds as soon as they are fully independent so as to avoid possible
aggression from a parent. At about 8 - 9 weeks of age.
Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not
be covered on this web site. It is too complex and diverse in nature to
be attempted here.
Refer to "Avian Health Issues"
web page for information and references.
- Worming and parasite control and Quarantine
requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to
require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web
site. Refer "Avian Health Issues"
web page option.
- Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep
updating your knowledge and skills.
General References: Refer to references listed on "Book References"
- Australian Aviculture
- A/A Vol 60 No 3 Mar 2006 Page 57-60 (Pied) ( inc photo).
- A/A Vol 58 No. 1 Jan 2004 Page 15.
- A/A Vol 57 No. 8 Aug 2003 Page 170-174.
- A/A Vol 54 No. 7 July 2000 Page 145-146
- A/A Vol 54 No. 3 Mar 2000 Page 66-69
- A/A Vol 50 No. 3 Mar 1996 Page 63-67 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 49 No. 2 Feb 1995 Page 41-45
- A/A Vol 47 No. 5 May 1993 Page 108-111
- A/A Vol 41 No. 5 May 1987 Page 103-106
- A/A Vol 35 No. 6 Jun 1981 Page 126-139
(Inc cover photo)
- A/A Vol 29 No. 8 Aug 1975 Page
- A/A Vol 25 No. 9 Sept 1971 Page 140-146.
- A/A Vol 23 No 6 Jun 1969 Page
- A/A Vol 22 No 3 Mar 1968 Page 49-56 (Inc colour plate).
- A/A Vol 19 No 10 Oct 1965 Page 133-134.
- A/A Vol 18 No 3 Mar 1964 Page 44.
- A/A Vol 18 No 1 Jan 1964 Page 4-7.
- A/A Vol 5 No 7 Jul 1951 Page 83.
- Australian Birdkeeper
- ABK Vol 16 Issue 12 Dec-Jan 2004 Page 694-700.
- ABK Vol 16 Issue 7. Feb-Mar 2003 Page 385-389
(Growth development of chicks - Auckland Zoo).
- ABK Vol 15 Issue 6. Dec-Jan 2003 Page 315-316.
- ABK Vol 15 Issue 2. Apr-May 2002 Page 84-86
- ABK Vol 13 Issue 2. Apr-May 2000 Page 67-70
- ABK Vol 10 Issue 11. Oct-Nov 1997 Page 546-549
- ABK Vol 8 Issue 9. Jun-July 1995 Page 423-425 (Part 2)
- ABK Vol 8 Issue 8. Apr-May 1995 Page 372-374
- ABK Vol 7 Issue 6. Dec-Jan 1995 Page 286-288
- ABK Vol 1 Issue 2. Dec-Jan 1988 Page 38-40
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