Bourke’s parakeets are friendly and smart. They can make wonderful pets if hand-fed because hand-fed birds are less flighty than those that are parent-raised. Unlike other Australian parrots, such as the cockatiel or budgie, the Bourke’s parakeet is not as active. Bourke’s parakeets are more mellow at dawn and dusk when they make their twittering sounds.
These pet birds usually like to bathe on a daily basis. Fresh greens are a top pick of Bourke’s parakeets. Provide fresh vegetable, fruits eggfood and multi-grain bread in addition to a seed-based diet. These pet birds are classified with the Neophema genus of parakeets, however, Bourke’s parakeets are unique in that they cannot hybridize with the other Australian grass parakeets. Due to their inability to breed with other Neophema, Bourke’s parakeet has been set in a separate genus, Neopsephotus. Color mutations of the Bourke’s parakeet include the rosy pink color, cinnamon, cream, pink, lutino and rubino, which combine lutino and rosy.
“They are hardy, more active in late afternoon until dusk. Their droppings are larger than the other Neophemas which makes them messier than the others. They are very prolific [breeders]. Very few Bourke’s parakeets are pure now. You can get quite a variety of color in each clutch.”
Melinda Schmitz, owner of Anza’s Australian Beauties aviaries