PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. Kakariki
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    photo of Red crowned Kakariki
  • 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 KAKARIKI.
  • Photo donated by Sarah & Jessica        (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 months.
  • Adult plumage:  attained at about ? months
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  12 months up to year 10.
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Colour mutations:  Yes, but not common.
  • 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 crowned are smaller.
  1. Length: Yellow = Approx. 230 - 260 mm (or approx 9.5 - 10 inches).  Red = Approx. 260 - 280 mm (or approx 10.5 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo above.
  3. Weight: Approx. Yellow = 40 - 50 gms. Red = 70 - 80 gms approx.
Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws: Refer to " Government Laws " web page.

Housing Requirements: 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 pure.

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. 
Many 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 available.

Nesting: 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 suitable.
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth 350 mm (or approx. 14 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 200 - 225 mm. (or approx. 8- 9 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 200 mm square (or approx. 8 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. 65 - 70 mm (or approx. 2.5 - 3 inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100 mm (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 vertical.
  • 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.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year up to 3.  Eggs per nest  5 - 8.  Incubation approx. 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 - 12 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.

Health Issues:  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" web page.

Specific 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 122-123
  • A/A Vol 25 No. 9 Sept 1971 Page 140-146.
  • A/A Vol 23 No 6 Jun 1969 Page 85-86.
  • 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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