Kakariki Parrots (Everything You Need To Know About Owning One)



Kakariki Parrots information at Petrestart.com.


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The Kakariki parrot is a beautiful bird. Kakarikis parrots have a bright green plume and a unique singing voice. These birds make fantastic pets for the family due to their friendly nature. They love people and interacting with them. 

These funny little parrots are easy to train, highly intelligent, and adore learning new tricks they can show off confidently! 

You may be wondering where their name comes from and what it means. Well, let me tell you! The Kakariki parrot is from New Zealand, and their name was given to them by the Maori indigenous people of New Zealand. The name Kakariki means “kaka” parrot, and “riki” is small.

The Kakariki parrot is listed as endangered due to the deforestation to allow for building. However, these beautiful parrots do well outside the mainland on the nearby islands.

It is illegal to keep them in captivity unless the Department of Conservation has granted a license. 

Now that you have a little insight into the Kakariki parrot, let’s dive in and discover everything you need to know about owning one. This article will cover personality, breeding, feeding, caring for, and many more! So let’s get going, shall we? 

A Brief Overview Of The Kakariki Parrot 

As mentioned earlier, the Kakariki parrot is native to New Zealand. They are listed as endangered, and three types of Kakariki parrots exist. They are as follows:

  • Yellow-Crowned Parakeet 
  • Red-Crowned Parakeet 
  • Malherbe Parakeet/Orange-Crowned Parakeet (critically endangered) 

Yellow-Crowned Parakeet 

The yellow-crowned parakeet (Cyanormaphus auriceps) can be found on North Island, South Island, and Steward Island. This parrot has a beautiful red and yellow crown that covers the forehead and band from eye to eye. 

Their long beautiful tail is green and yellow. The yellow-crowned Kaka is a fast flier that beats its wings rapidly.

Yellow-crowned parakeets are the most popular parakeet in New Zealand.

Red-Crowned Parakeet 

The red-crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) has a full red crown with the color going from forehead and band to band. The beautiful parrots were very present on all the islands, but due to humans taking over their habitat and predators, they can only be found inland and on some islands.

The red-crowned parakeet is bigger than the yellow-crowned parakeet. Just like the yellow-crowned, this bird is a fast flyer and direct. 

Orange-Fronted Parakeet

The orange-fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus Malherbe) has an orange frontal band with a bright green and sometimes green/blue body. This bird is critically endangered and lives in three regions. 

Those regions are South Island, Hurunui River Valley, and Hawdon River valley.

A study shows that this bird prefers to live in areas with a good deal of canopy coverage, ground cover, and lower understory.

Although these parrots are endangered, New Zealand is taking steps to ensure this beautiful bird does not go extinct. They are protecting them and breeding them to keep them alive and well. 

What You Need to Know About Owning a Kakariki Parrot

Characteristics Of The Kakariki Parrot 

Kakariki parrot on a white background


The Kakariki parrot is a fun, intelligent, and friendly bird. These birds make great pets for families, even those with younger children. The Kakariki can learn many words, and sounds and even sing! These birds are very affectionate and love to snuggle up to their favorite people. 

An essential thing to remember with the Kakariki is that they need a good deal of attention. These are brilliant, intelligent birds, so they could get into trouble if they get bored. 

A good tip is to ensure they have many toys they can play with. Make sure you play with them, not just give them a toy and walk away. If you must leave them alone for a while, then make sure you give them high-value toys to keep them entertained. 

The Kakariki enjoy toys made of paper and cardboard as they LOVE tearing up paper. You can make these sorts of toys at home; all you have to do is look up some YouTube videos! 

The Kakariki is a unique bird that develops a special bond with its people. It is essential that if you have a family, the bird is introduced and socialized to everyone in the family to create a bond with the entire family. 

Kakariki parrots that bond to only one person in the family might end up being aggressive to other family members. It is not good, especially if there are small children involved. 


As mentioned earlier in this article, the Kakariki parrot is a small green parrot weighing about 65 grams and weighing 25-28 cm. These beautiful birds have a wingspan of 5 inches. Their name suits them, being small and all! 

The crown of the Kakariki bird is red, yellow, and orange. Their beaks are small as well and are pretty adorable. Wings consist of blue and green.

Behavior Of Kakariki 

Kakariki parrots are intelligent birds that don’t make much noise. Therefore, if you and your family are trying to decide on a bird for the family, then the Kakariki is the one for you. The Kaka is intelligent, but don’t let that fool you! They are highly goofy as well. They love to look at themselves in the mirror and sing songs. 

Definitely not a dull bird and will keep you on your toes. But don’t worry. They are small and adorable and will grow to love you and your family. 

Lifespan Of The Kakariki Parrot 

The Kakariki parrot has a lifespan of about 15-20 years. They do not live as long as other parrot species but still have a pretty good life span. 

You may wonder what you can do to keep your Kaka happy and live a long, happy life. Well, you’ve come to the right place. I have a few beneficial tips for you below. 

  • Ensure your Kaka is on a good diet. A bad diet will lead to a sick parrot.
  • Let your parrot out of its cage daily. 
  • Ensure your Kaka has plenty of toys.
  • Please do not leave your parrot alone for hours, as this stresses them out. 
  • Keep the house clean and fragrant, and smoke-free. Smoke and other smells may cause health issues in your parrot, just like they can with humans and other household pets.
  • Keep your parrot safe. No open doors or windows where the parrot can escape 
  • Other pets, like dogs and cats, should never be left unattended with your Kakariki.
  • Book regular visits to your vet! 

Remember that this animal lives a good amount of years, so it is a huge commitment. Please be sure you are ready and willing to take care of this pet for many years.

Diet Of A Kakariki Parrot

The Kakriki parrot requires a high-quality diet. The diet should consist of small parrot pellets/seed mix that will act as their main diet. Followed by a good serving of veggies and fruit that are safe for your parrot to eat. See below for a list of delicious fruits and veggies to give to your Kaka. 

  • Apples 
  • Strawberries 
  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Grapes 
  • Sweet corn
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Capsicum
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Pear 
  • Pumpkin
  • A mixture of nuts as well

Fruit should be given to your parrot in moderation. It is because fruit contains a lot of sugar, and too much of it can make your parrot obese and cause many health issues. Talk to your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your parrot’s health or need advice on a special diet. 

Training A Kakariki

The Kakariki is a highly intelligent bird. That being said, these little birds are a delight to train. Training them in small spurts that last 15-20 minutes is best. They have a short attention span, so you will likely get only a small amount of training time. 

However, due to their intelligence, you should get some productive training. 

Remember to be patient with your bird, and don’t direct negative energy to the bird if it is not doing what it is supposed to do on the first few tries. Positive training is critical, just like training a dog. You get the best results from being positive. It is a win-win. Your bird is happy, and you get a perfectly trained Kakariki parrot. 

If you are unsure how to train your parrot, you can always look up training videos on youtube or reach out to your local bird trainer. You should be able to find them independently or at your local pet shop, maybe even a veterinarian clinic.

Best Type Of Home For A Kakariki 

Kakarikis can live in a house or an apartment. These birds work better in pairs. So if you get one, you should get a roommate. However, if you can only get one Kaka, then make sure you can spend a reasonable amount of time with this furry little feathered friend. As mentioned earlier, the Kaka requires much attention and stimulation for a long, healthy, and happy life. 


The Kakariki parrot requires a cage with ½ inch spacing between bars. It is so that your parrot cannot pull a Houdini and escape its cage. As for the cage size for your Kaka, you will need an 18’Dx18’Wx24’H.

Accessories for your Kaka cage should include wooden toys and lots of newspaper, as these parrots love to tear apart paper. Perches and swings that attach to the enclosure are also great for your parrot. Having these accessories in your Kaka’s cage gives it various things to play with and keeps it mentally stimulated. 


Did you know that Kakarikis mate with the same partner for life? They form a bond that lasts their lifetime. What does this mean for breeding? It means that these birds are easy to breed! 

Breeding typically starts in August to early September. However, breeding can happen anytime. The weather can set the mood for breeding. For example, according to Watchbird, the rain gets these little guys going.

The Kakariki can start breeding as early as three to seven months; however, it is best to wait at least 12 months. Waiting is better for the bird’s health and its offspring. 

When getting nesting boxes for the offspring, the standard small parrot box is the best. The standard size is 150mm x 150mm x 250mm. The material of the box usually is plywood. You can make this yourself or purchase it at your local pet shop.

When deciding on a nesting box, ensure you get one that is chemical-free (especially pesticide and fertilizer-free). You don’t want to cause health issues or, even worse, by getting the wrong type of nesting box. 

This breed of parrot is a very messy nester. So you may want to add zeolite to the seed mix to absorb it and make it less likely to go everywhere. 

Enrichment For A Kakariki 

The Kakariki will benefit from being let out of its cage daily. It enables the bird to get out and stretch its wings. Letting your Kaka out of the enclosure allows it to get exercise, so it stays healthy. These are intelligent birds, so you cannot just put them in a cage and walk away. 

As noted earlier, you should provide your Kaka with plenty of toys in its cage and change them regularly, so your bird does not get bored. 

The Kakariki in the wild will stay on the ground for most of the day. It is because they are searching for food. An excellent enrichment activity for your Kaka is to place forging toys in their cage. 

They thrive on trying to open up things and reaching hard-to-reach spots. So fill up that cage with hanging toy cups filled with some delicious food, cork bark, cuttlebones, cardboard toys, and many more. To find out the best and most unique enrichment toys, check out Youtube. 

Final Thoughts

The Kakariki parrot is a great bird for first-time bird owners as well as experienced ones. These little balls of feathers will give you a lot of enjoyment and will form an unbreakable bond with you and your family. 

Owning a kakariki parrot is a long time commitment, and before getting one, you and your family should be prepared and willing to commit many years to this beautiful bird.

The Kaki is a very intelligent parrot and requires many hours of attention and training to keep it mentally and physically healthy.

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