Kakariki as a pet – Complete information and care guide

Are you planning to have a bird pet to adore your home? Do you want a bird that is friendly, quiet, and perfect for beginner pet owners?

If your answer is Yes, then Kakariki is the perfect bird of your choice. These birds have a beautiful voice with a cute appearance embraced by vibrant green plumage will make your home feel like a tropical paradise.

These red-crowned parakeets are not only aesthetically pleasing but are also great as pets because of their friendly personality. These small parrots are both entertaining and intelligent. 

Being intelligent, they have the ability to learn words and mimic the human voice. They can also mimic your favourite songs and are as lovable as they look. These curious and exceedingly active birds will like to cuddle up to their owners. 

Teaching these curious birds is extremely fun, and you will love to teach them the way to talk and learn tricks. It is a pleasure watching these birds in the wild, seeing the sun lit up their vibrant plumage and you can’t stop yourself from watching the bird flowing close to the ocean calling ee…ee…ee. 

I hope this bird has already impressed you as a pet. Here in this article, we will tell you all about the facts, breeding, treats, cost, care guide about Kakariki. 

Facts about Kakariki:

Adult length– 25-28cm

Adult weight– Approximately 65 grams.

Life span– These birds usually live up to 15 to 20 years. 

Scientific name– Cyanoramphusnovaezelandiae (Red-fronted), Cyanoramphusauriceps (Yellow-fronted)


They are originated from New Zealand. The red-fronted strain of these birds was once abundant on the mainland, but now they are about to virtually extinct there.

But you can see the population of Red-fronted Kakariki surviving on Stewart island and surrounding islands, the Kermadec Islands, Kapiti islands, Chatham islands, some Hauraki Gulf islands, Snares, and Antipodes islands.

On the mainland and Stewart island, you can see some birds of Yellow-fronted strain but rarely. 

Status in Wild:

Yellow-fronted: They are near to the threatened stage. But now there is an improvement in their number with the help of habitat recovery and predator control.

Red-fronted: They are vulnerable because of the extensive loss of habitat, and there is a significant decrease in their numbers. 


These birds were commonly used just a few decades ago, but now the numbers of both the yellow and red-fronted have decreased tremendously. 

The small offshore islands with no predators are the only habitat for these vibrant coloured birds. When the forest was covered with native trees, the islands were used to be full of these birds. 

After centuries when the Europeans start farming in these islands, hardly any forest survived and led to birds lost their habitat. The birds began disappearing, and the process was further accelerated by introducing stoats, rats, and cats. 

After this, the department of conservation started the campaign to bring the island back to its native state like an open sanctuary. There were plantations of hundreds of thousands of trees.

How to differentiate male and female Kakariki parrots? 

Kakariki’s males are about 15 grams heavier than females. They also have bigger heads and broader beaks. The female in this bird species looks very dainty and thin. You can even notice the brighter shade of red in most of the male in comparison to female. 


These birds are not difficult to breed. They require a simple nest box. Just make sure that the nest box has nesting material just like all parrots in the bottom at least 2 inches deep. 

Put that nest box on the higher side in the aviary. If you want the breeding to take place in the cage, just put the nest box outside the cage and cut a hole in the cage to avoid the nest box taking up too much space inside the cage. 

It is estimated that a female lays an egg in just 2 weeks after mating. These birds usually lay around 6 to 14 eggs. At 3 weeks of age, the chicks start to pin feather, and they start consuming the same amount of food as their parents by the age of 5 weeks. 

Treats for Kakariki parrot:

Try to keep your Kakariki’s diets as varied as possible. Ensure that you are offering at least 60% of their diet as a complete food or in the form of pellets and the rest amount should be made up of sprouted or dry seeds, green vegetables, fruits, seeding grasses, and other treats. 

Complete or pelleted food:

These types of food have all kinds of nutrition, and the Kakariki requires these for their daily need. You can go with Lafeber Nutriberries that are available in Tropical Sunny orchard or fruit flavor, and original flavor.

It contains 40 essential nutrients that might be required by your Kakariki in their diets. This pelleted food comes in small size, which makes it easy for the Kakariki to hold the food in their feet and enjoy. 

Sprouting/ Soaking seeds:

It would be best if you soak these seeds for a couple of days to get it sprouted, sprouted seeds contain lots of minerals, vitamins, and nutrition which will fulfil your Kakariki needs. 

Other treats to include:

You can appreciate your Kakariki and reward them with special treats including Parrot jellies, Sesame sticks, and Palm Nut fruits Extract oil and many more.

Vegetable which are safe for Kakariki:

Green leafy vegetables are absolutely safe for your Kakariki. Almost all green vegetables are safe for your bird, and these vegetables will make a healthy addition to your bird’s diet.

Examples of vegetables that are safe for your Kakariki are:
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Sweetcorn
  • Celery
  • Carrot


You can choose fruits as a treat for your Kakariki. In the market, there is also a present range of dried fruits with similar nutrition value.

Fruits which are safe for your Kakariki are:
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Mango
  • Cranberry


There are 21 healthy and human-grade ingredients present in Tidy mix Parakeet Diet, and these are 99% edible to avoid wastage. 

You can also go with Naturals Pick’ n’ fly collection along with millet spray that is rich in magnesium and phosphorous. 

Insects which are safe for Kakariki Parrot:

In the wild, Kakariki was used to eat insects. They provide lots of health benefits to Kakariki. In terms of calories, Insects are an excellent nutritional source.

So here are insects which are safe for Kakariki parrot:
  • Flies
  • Grasshopper
  • Leaf-hopper
  • Caterpillars
  • Beetles
  • Moths
  • Larvae
  • Weevils
  • Aphids

Food items which are toxic for your Kakariki bird:

Here we are listing you some food items that might be considered toxic. The food items we are going to list here are advised to avoid by the vets. 

Chocolate: There is a component, namely Theobromine and caffeine present that may lead to hyperactivity, tremors, increased heart rate, and potential death in this parrot bird. 

Avocado: Persin is present in all parts of avocado. Persin is the fungicidal toxin that is proven to cause cardiac toxin in birds. 

Onion and Garlic: They are potentially toxic for this bird. These compounds in power form are even more potent.

Comfrey: They are reported to cause liver damage in these birds.

High-sodium, High-fat, High-sugar foods: They are not technically toxic but may cause health problems in Kakariki. 

Sugar-free candy: It might be considered as a better alternative to regular sweet. But in sugar-free candy, there is present a sugar alternative, namely xylitol which is reported to cause hypoglycemia and liver damage in Kakariki birds. 

Food items which are not recommended for kakariki bird:

  • Peanuts: Peanuts may lead to aspergillosis as it might be contaminated with toxin-producing fungus.
  • Grit: Pigeons require grit. Parrots don’t need grit. Eating girt may lead to intestinal blockage in this parakeet. 
  • Dairy products: Though they are not toxic, but reports suggest that Kakariki cannot digest lactose. So, lactose-containing dairy products should be avoided for your Kakariki.   

How much kakarikis costs?    

You can get this sweet Kakariki, depending on the breeding, anywhere between 200$ to 900$.

What birds can live with kakarikis?

Kakarikis are not known to be aggressive. They can be kept easily with many bird species and with many safer small species like finches, and diamond doves in mixed aviaries. We can keep Kakariki’s easily with budgies, finches, small softbills, and canaries. 

How to bond with Kakariki?

The kakarikis, in general, are not very talkative, but you can easily develop a bond with these sweet creatures. After developing a bond, they will become quite loving for you. 

Here are some tips which will help you to develop a bond with your new pet:

Keep your voice inviting and low: You must be using soft speech to invite your new cuddle. Your sweet voice will also keep your new pet relaxed and calm. Your loud noise may make your bird scared, and this will cause them to retreat from you. 

Your calm and inviting voice will make the bird intently listen to you and will make the bird curious to listen as you speak to it.

Offer them with their favorite treat: Food can impress all the creatures in the world. Offering the bird with their favourite treats like vegetables, fruit, or breed-specific treats will help you develop a deep bond with your Kakariki.

Your bird will love these tasty treats and will start seeing you as their friend. Bribing your new feathered friend with a treat is not bad, it is just to develop understanding between both of you. 

Note: Ensure the treat you are giving is healthy and not going to cause any ill effect in your new feathered Kakariki.

Take it slow: Your bird can also startle with sudden motions. Try to make slower movements and ensure the calm environment in the room where your new friend is kept. Make your bird feel safe. Scaring your bird, in the beginning, will make it difficult for you to connect with your bird as they will feel scared, threatened, or irritated. 

Offer them comfort: To pet a new Kakariki, you are taking them out from their habitat. This time might be stressful for your new feathery friend. Try to make this time enriched with happiness and strength. Ensure that you are stimulating your Kakariki happily and healthily. 

Socialize with your bird: Birds are smart enough to remember the interaction with humans. If you have adopted the bird, there are chances that the bird had a bad experience with the previous owner. Try to warm up your bird with socialization.

If you feel your bird feeling scary when you approach its cage, then take some time to sit by its cage, talk with it, and spend a good time with your bird. Gradually increase the time that you are spending with your bird. This will make them feel comfortable in your presence. 

Be patient: There is a need for time for the bird to get used to their owners and the new surroundings. Try to be very patient unless your Kakariki gets acclimatized to your home.   

Play with your bird: Playing with your new feathery friend will play a significant role in developing a bond between you and your Kakariki. You can offer them some enriching activities that will help to create connections with the help of a fun time together. 

You can provide your Kakariki with toys and can play soft music for them. It might sound odd, but birds respond positively to the music. It would be best if you also made some out-of-habitat time by carrying them on your shoulder. This will give the next level to your bonding.

Spending playtime with your new Kakariki bird will help you form a friendship built on trust, safety, and comfort.

Kakariki- care guide


It would be best if you housed your Kakariki in a secure cage with double doors as they are known to escape.

The house must be free from hazardous materials and need to be safe.

These birds are fond of bathing, so ensure the availability of freshwater.

They are known to be active birds. So bigger the cage, the better will be their activity and so on health. 

Feeding and Supplement:

  • Their primary diet should be made from dry or sprouted seeds.
  • You can treat your Kakariki with fruits, millets, sweetcorn, celery, or carrot, etc.
  • They are more prone to aspergillosis, so avoid giving moldy food items. 
  • These birds are messy eaters, so adopt pellet feeding. These will avoid much wastage.
  • These parrots, like others, also love foraging. So always provide them with foraging toys and treats.

Bottom line:

This Kakariki bird is going to be a true joy for you to have around. These friendly birds with great personalities are lovely companions. 

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