Scarlet-chested parrakeet

Scarlet Chest Parakeet

Scarlet-chested parakeet , neophema splendia is about 19cm (8 inches) when adult size. Weight is about 37-44 grams.  This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful of all parakeets, the male having exceptionally lustrous plumage.  The males head is blue, of a deeper shade on the throat and cheeks with an almost luminous quality.  The wings are broadly edged with pale blue; under wing coverts  and outer edges of the flight feathers are darker blue; the rest of the under parts are yellow. The breast is scarlet.  Upper parts are green and the tail is green, the lateral feathers being blue tipped with yellow.  The bill is grayish black and the iris is brown.  The female lacks the red on the breast, this area being green. The blue on her head is duller and more restricted than in the male. 

Immature birds resemble the female but are slightly duller.  Adult plumage is reached about 6 months of age.

HABITAT

The scarlet-chest  inhabits the interior of southern Australia.  It is an irregular and scarce visitor to some areas, locally common in others.  In the early years of the twentieth century it was feared to be extinct since sightings are so uncommon. But in 1932 it reappeared in the vicinity of Adelaide.

NOISE

The scarlet-chest are very quite birds with an almost finch like voice. You will hardly know they are even there. And they don’t learn to talk.

SOCIAL HABITS

These birds made wonderful aviary birds.  They are most happy being fully flights and flying in a large cage or aviary.  Ideally, they do not make good pet birds.  Close confinement is cruel for these little creatures.  They can be housed with finches, canaries, doves, and button quail.

CAGES

It is essential that this bird has a fairly large cage that they can fly back and forth  in.  Ideally, an aviary would be best. If they are in an aviary - it must be sheltered from all the elements. These birds are not at the least destructive and their aviaries will always remain neat in appearance.  They can even be kept in planted aviaries.  But on important point-they do not like damp aviaries. They will bathe in standing water or on wet foliage but do not usually rain-bathe. Some will also sunbathe, puffing out the body feathers, drooping the wings and flaring the tail. 

DIET INFORMATION

The best diet for a scarlet-chested would be pellets, seed, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.  They should be offered canary seed, white millet, hemp, niger, sm sunflower seed, linseed, and groats.  Millet sprays will be relished.  Soaked seed and plenty of seeding grasses, chickweed and spinach beet should be offered when there are young in the nest.  Greens should be included in the diet all year round. They derive great enjoyment from nibbling at the grass in turf-floored aviaries.

MATURING

Scarlet-chests will mature by their first spring.  Since most are born in the spring months, that would mean approximately a year later.

BREEDING

Only healthy, unrelated pairs should be paired together.  Some females may lay only one clutch during their second year but are usually double-brooded thereafter.  They will usually lay between four and five  The scarlet-chests are very ready to breed in aviaries.  The nest box should be introduced by the end of March.  The measurements are not of great importance, although the box should be deep enough for the young not to emerge prematurely.  A suggested size is 12 inches deep and 6 inches square, with an entrance hole which is just large enough to admit the birds.  A couple inches of damp peat or a peat and soil mixture should be pressed down on the bottom of the box. 

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