Psittacula krameri • Birds
The rose-ringed parakeet is a non-native, invasive species in California.
They compete with native cavity-nesting bird species for nest sites as they begin nesting in late February, which is before most native species begin nesting. They are potentially serious agricultural pests, which feed on crops and carry a number of bird diseases that can infect native songbirds, game birds, domestic chickens and turkeys.
They are generally green and the nape and back of head are blue. They have a broad cheek-stripe and a narrow line from cere to the eye is black in the male and absent in the female. Adult plumage starts to appear at about 18 months of age. Average length is 15.5 inches.
They are native to the Indian subcontinent and the Sudan belt of Africa. It is the only parrot established in Southern California that does not originate from the Neotropics. The largest North American population lives in Bakersfield.
Many people ask how large flocks of rose-ringed parakeets came to Bakersfield. On December 20, 1977, a huge windstorm swept through Bakersfield with gusts clocked up to 100 mph. An aviary in northeast Bakersfield was knocked down and two pairs of breeding parakeets escaped. Today, large flocks can be seen (and screeching can be heard) throughout the city — especially at the Kern County Museum, Beale and Hart Park, the area around Columbus/Mt. Vernon Avenues and the Alta Vista area.
The rose-ringed parakeet is considered one of the best talking parakeets and can learn a vocabulary of 250 words.