Indian and African Ringneck Parrots are often confused as the same parrot so I wanted to highlight the subtle but significant differences in this article. They are obviously from two different countries, hence the name “African” and “Indian” and their life spans differ; ARN live up to 50 years and IRN can live 15-30 years.
The two species are also dimorphic (colors or markings determine gender). There are slight color differences as well, ARN look quite similar to their Indian cousins, but whereas IRN are a vibrant deep green, ARN are more of a lime green.
Also, the signature black ring around the male ARN neck is thicker and more prominent than that of the IRN. Conversely, the rose-colored ring is more prominent in the IRN.
This ring can take from 14 months up to 3 years to develop. The IRN also has a larger red beak, whereas the ARN has a smaller plum-colored beak. There is also a size difference.
ARNs are smaller and are comparable to a cockatiel 10-12 inches (shorter tails) in length and weighing in at 110-120 grams and their cousin IRN up to 16” in length (mostly tail) weighing in at 120-125 grams.
Family Rating: IRNs tend to be more aggressive than ARNs and are not recommended for the beginner bird owner or households with kids. Raising them requires patience, positive reinforcement and gentile dominance. IRN tend to be nippy, loud and behave badly as they grow through adolescence.
Both are highly intelligent, and for the right owners, can make excellent pets. They both need more than the normal parrot interaction and socialization in order to stay tame.
They are likely to revert back to their wild behaviour if they both are not handled daily. The ARN parakeets can be very affectionate birds if given plenty of attention that prevents them from being bored.
Noise Level/Talkability: ARN tend to be quieter and shyer than the IRN. They both are skilled at mimicking speech, whistle and mimic other sounds. Although they don’t have an extensive vocabulary their speech is very clear. They can be very vocal and noisy and develop screaming habits, if teased.
They tend to have a high-pitched call that can annoy intolerant family members or even close neighbors. It has been said that the males are friendlier than the females but there is no evidence to support this however we have seen a pattern whereby the male ringnecks prefer the females of the house and visa versa.
Cuddle Rating: While neither variety is especially cuddly, ARNs will sit on their owners’ shoulders and enjoy being petted alongside their neck. They do not, however, like to be being petted on the rest of their bodies.
The IRNs do not enjoy being petted but they learn concepts quickly and like to perform tricks, roller skate, learn obstacle courses and much more.
These energetic parakeets love to fly and explore and are very playful. They need a lot of chew toys because their number one all-time favorite thing to do is chew up toys. The toys that should be provided to them are wood chews, perches, swings and assorted bird-safe toys. Small toys that they can easily hold in their talons are good choices.
Hypoallergenic: ARNs and IRNs have no dander so they generally do not cause an issue with persons with asthma or allergies.
Diet: They both enjoy a diet filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, pellets, parrot seed mixtures, cuttlebone and fresh water.