Look but don't touch
The Indian ringneck is a great talker, an impressive attribute in its own right, but it’s their voices that make them such an attractive parrot to many people. They have a most adorably sweet and expressive quality to their voice – it puts an ear to ear grin on your face that is impossible to wipe off. If you go online and check out videos of talking indian ringnecks, you will want one, guaranteed. BUT, before you buy, you should know that they have earned a reputation of being difficult birds to own. Indian ringnecks are not exactly “people” birds. While some will allow some forms of physical interaction, many do not care to be handled by humans.
This quality does not make them unfriendly, just independent. They are perfectly happy in the presence of their owners, and will agreeably step up for a ride to the living room, but generally, they prefer the relationship to be otherwise hands-off. It is our human habit to lavish affection on a new pet when we first bring them home. We mean well, and we aim to make the newcomer feel loved, but while that might feel good to a puppy, it can feel forceful to a bird.
When your bird is an Indian ringneck, you can multiply that discomfort times ten. This information is rarely shared by breeders or store employees with potential customers, some of whom are looking for a cuddly new pet. Heaven forbid a sale be lost.
However, it is their most relevant characteristic because it can result in behavioral problems when poorly informed new owners unintentionally mishandle their new indian ringneck. During breeding season, the indian ringneck changes its tune and becomes very physically affectionate, although not in a good way. They become reactive to the hormones in their system and DEMAND your attention.
It must be understood by the owner that the advances are of a sexual nature, and when you don’t respond appropriately (to their way of thinking,) they become offended and nippy. Another breeding behavior common with this species is regurgitation. During breeding season they will often leave a white, pasty coat of regurgitation of their favorite toys, requiring extra cleaning efforts from their owners.
Loveable in their own way
This is not to imply in any way the the indian ringneck is a poor choice for those looking for a parrot to love – they just require companionship in a different way than other birds. The indian ringneck needs an owner that understands and accepts its nature.
If you are the type of bird owner who doesn’t require physical interaction from your bird, this might be a great species for you. They are remarkably intelligent parrots, who learn to speak from an early age, and you will love spending time teaching new words to your bird – if only to hear its delightful voice.
Why not take it a step further and train your bird to do tricks to accompany that cute voice?
Even birds that prefer not to be touched need meaningful interaction with their owners. Training is the perfect way to spend time with your bird in a way that is non-invasive to him physically but still provides the perfect outlet for quality time together.