It comes from the same country of the "talkative" Australian parakeets. However, it keeps some of its own characteristics, very different from the habits of their "relatives".
When thinking about a parakeet, many people imediately associate it to that noisy and well disposed bird. The Esplendido, scientifically known as Neophema splendida, though belonging to the same family of the parakeets, the Psittacidae, is an uncommon "relative". Having a calm temperament, it is considered by many breeders as a reserved bird, and, why not, even shy.
The Esplendido inhabits the eucalypt woods, or any group of trees that grow alonside rock ridges in the Southeast of Australia, its country of origin. Extremely sweet and quiet, it spends most part of the day on the ground, or in low bushes, looking for seeds. Analyzing their habits in their homeland Australia, we soon discover that they are usually found far from water. Some researchers state that it is in the morning dew found on plants or chewing vegetation rich in water, that the Esplendido "kills" its thirst, and gets its necessary supply of liquids. It is frequently found in pairs, isolated or in small groups, with generally no more than ten.
Around 50 years ago, the Esplendido was next to extinction. However, thanks to an English breeder who preserved the species in captivity, today the Esplendido is not at risk of being extinct anymore. Lucky for those who have the opportunity to meet one. The beauty of the Esplendido does justice to its name. Measuring 19 to 22cm, this species presents lively and shiny colors, in a show of nature's "good taste". The male has blue face and wings, red chest and yellow abdomen. The top part of the head and back are greenish. Similar to other species, the colors in the female aren't as bright as the male's. Another characteristic that differentiates them is the color of the chest, which is red in the femele, instead of green. It is important to remember that their colors define only after the second year of life.
The Esplendido is a very agreeable company for those who appreciate beautiful and calm birds, for, contrary to the characteristic sound of the other birds from the Psittacidae family, it sings very softly. Besides, it is a bird that likes little activity: it usually doesn't do any tricks or a lot of noise in the cage.
There is no difficulty in breeding this bird, but the Esplendido is still practically unknown in Brazil. Its breeding started recently here, and the first couples arrived about ten years ago.
Feeding: Basically grains, green corn, green
vegetables and fruit. It also accepts the Canary meal.
Breeding: Breeding this bird is very simple. Mating usually happens from August to January, depending on the climate and feeding. When it reaches one year of age, this bird is ready to mate. The female lays 3 to 5 eggs, rarely 6, which are hatched by her during 18 to 20 days. The nest utilized by this species is the popular wood box, sold in pet shops. The Esplendido may have two or three bearings a year. It is recommended to put it in a cage measuring at least 60 x 60 x 60cm. Male and female may live together; there will be no problems. It is advisable to put cage far from air drafts, and where it will receive sun light in the morning. The Esplendido is adapted to the climate in Brazil. However, it is important to emphasize that it is very sensitive to drastic changes in temperature, something that can make bird ill, or even lead to death.
Article based on the information given by Reginaldo Leone,
from Zoo-Lógico. Assistance: Faiçal Simon
Text editor: Monica Régia Kato
Picture: Oswaldo Maricato
Owner: Zoo-Lógico Store