Why Bourke’s Parakeet Is the Best Bird for First Time Owners


One reason most people avoid getting a pet bird is that they feel these creatures are demanding and could be noisy. It is true that some birds can make all the noise that would upset your neighbours and these birds would also be attention demanding.

Nevertheless, that shouldn’t kill your dream of being a pet bird owner as other birds can make life easier and are wonderful for first-timers.

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If you are growing interest in the hookbill pet bird species, Bourke’s parakeets are the perfect birds to start with for some good reasons.

Bourke’s parakeets can entertain themselves without bothering you, and they have a naturally call demeanour which makes them perfect for an apartment building.

Because they are quiet, you do not have to worry about the noise if you are considering getting more than one Bourke’s parakeets.

If you have finches and cockatiels, you can still get a Bourke’s parakeets as they make good birdie buddies but make sure not be put your Bourke’s parakeets in the same cage with larger and aggressive birds to avoid violence.

Bourke’s parakeets are a species of parrot and are sometimes called Bourke’s parrot. This species of bird was named after the governor of Australia’s New South Wales territory between 1831 and 1837, Sir Richard Bourke.

Other common names for this bird are sundown parrot and the blue-vented parrot.

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Common names

The Bourke’s parakeets have many other familiar names including Bourkies, Bourke’s parrot, Pink-billed parrot, blue-vented parrot, and the sundown parrot.

Scientific name

The taxonomical or scientific name for the sundown parrot is Neopsephotus bourkii. The Bourke’s parakeets were initially classified as a member of the Neophema genus, but in the 1990’s it was assigned to its own genus.

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The origin and history of the Bourke’s parakeet

The Bourke’s parakeet is a nomadic bird species that are native to Australia which is the only place in the world where these birds can be found in the wild.

Their habitat covers a large area of Australia including Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, central, and southern.

The primary habitats for the Bourke’s parakeet are dry plains, but they can be found in eucalyptus woodlands and native cypress. Would bird can be seen sometimes in urban areas.

The success of breeding these birds in captivity has made the Bourke’s parakeet a popular pet bird species in homes around the globe. Interestingly, this species of bird is in no way threatened as it’s population in the wild appears to be growing.

Size of a Bourke’s parakeet

Bourke’s parakeets are little birds. Mostly small and medium in size measuring just about 7 to 8 inches in length from the beak to the tail feather. A healthy, well cared for Bourke’s parakeet could weight about two ounces when it’s fully grown.

The average lifespan of a Bourke’s parakeet

Just like other Australian parrots, the Bourke’s parakeet can live for a very long time in captivity. Some Bourke’s parakeet has reportedly lived as long as 25 years as a pet bird.

The temperament of a Bourke’s parakeet

The sundown parrot is famous because it is a gentle, sweet, and rare nurtured species. They are able to bond quickly with their owners especially they are hand-fed as babies.

Just like other parrots, the Bourke’s parakeet is very intelligent, but they stand out because of their calm and quiet nature which is rare for a parrot.

They are playful and active just after sunrise and sunset which is when they get to make some sounds but not in anyway annoying. Unlike other species of parrot, the Bourke’s parakeet does not perform tricks or talk.

Bourke’s parakeet makings and colours

While the sundown parrot does not have vivid colouring like other parrot species, they still are beautiful and attractive.

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To their plumage, the Bourke’s parakeets have a dusty brown color, with their abdomen and chests covered with pink feathers, and their tail having blue feathers.

The back of a sundown parrot’s wings has a darker brownish-grey hue, with each of the feathers having a lighter coloured outline.

Both sexes can easily be differentiated as the adult male usually appears more significant than the female and also has a blue forehead which the adult female does not have.

A number of court mutations are also possible with the sundown parrot. One of the most famous colour mutations is that of the Rosy Bourke’s parakeet which has a beautiful bright shade of pink.

Caring for a Bourke’s parakeet

You more often have to find a breeder if you want to get a Bourke’s parakeet because they are hardly found in pet stores.

These birds are hardly ever given away by their owners because they are not complicated and demanding as other birds, but it doesn’t stop you from reaching out to animal shelters and rescue organisations to find out if there is anyone available for adoption.

Bourke’s parakeets are enthusiastic figures, so instead of keeping them in a cage, it is better to keep them in roomy aviaries. The best size of aviaries should be around 6 feet long, and souls house several tree branches that the bird can climb.

If getting aviaries for your Bourke’s parakeet is practically impossible, go for the largest size of bird cage you can find. Making sure that the dimension of the pen is wider than it is tall because parakeets fly horizontally.

A bare minimum in size is a cage about 3 feet in length 1 1/2 feet tall and 1 1/2 feet wide. Although parakeets can do just fine on their own, it is best out have and house then in pairs.

If you must cage them separately or have only one bird, make sure you have time to play and interact with them. Providing a swing in the cage or aviary is a great way to add more fun to the life of your pet.

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Bourke’s parakeet are water lovers to make sure they have a pool to bathe in. Make sure the bath pool water is cool and clean and also try to wash them with warm water from a spray bottle at least once weekly.

Bourke’s parakeet is very sociable liked other parrots and less demanding, but you still need to give about an hour or two if your time to interact with them daily, so they do not become bored.

Feeding your Bourke’s parakeet

Bourke’s parakeets are in the category of grass parakeets. In the wild, they mostly hunt for food in the fields and eat grass, seeds, berries, insects, plant matter, and also fruits.

To feed your Bourke’s parakeet well, get fruit or seed mix that is specially formulated for parakeets or birds of similar size. You can include fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis to help supplement the diet.

Exercise for Bourke’s parakeet

Bourke's Parakeet

The Bourke’s parakeets are less active than other parakeets, but they also need some time outside the cage. At least two or there hours a day is enough time for your bird to exercise. 

Bourke’s parakeets are toy lovers, but they do not mind paying with egg cartons and other household items that are easy to gnaw on.

Common health issues

Like other species of parrot, the Bourke’s parakeet is vulnerable to Psittaci diseases that are transferable to both man and other birds. This disease causes birds to have obvious respiratory problems but is easily treated by antibiotics.

A number of different viruses can infect parakeets and cause them to experience weight loss, depression, and scratching.

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