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The Exotic Rainforest

Red Rump Australian Grass Parakeet
Psephotus haematonotus

Janice named this little fellow "Forest" on the day we bought him just south of Dallas.  Red Rump's are larger than average parakeets, but smaller than small parrots or conures.  He's now been with us since the summer of 1999.  Forest can be one noisy little guy when he chooses to be and does not "love" anyone!  I've kept birds for over 30 years and have been able to train and tame a large number of species.  Not Forest.  He is happiest when he is left alone to chatter at that "other bird" in his mirror.  And of course when he manages to get out of his cage and sit outside the cage belonging to our Sun Conures!

He has all his flight feathers and is capable of flying anywhere in the atrium he pleases.  But most of the time he is content to sit on top of the conure cage and simply chatter.  We have a CD of Grass Parakeets recorded wild in Australia and whenever that one is playing Forest is full of more noises than anyone can imagine.  When I found Forest he was in a cage filled with other male Red Rump Australian Grass Parakeets.  Male Red Rumps despise each other!  The old gentleman who had them tried to convince me Forest was a female.  Said he had been trying for a year to breed these birds with no success.  He set out to prove it by holding the bird upside down and dangling a needle at the end of a thread over Forest's tail feathers.  He told me authoritatively, "if the needle swings east and west the bird is a male.  If it swings north and south, it's a female".  It swung north and south.  I hated to tell him that Australian Red Rump's are dimorphic.  The male Red Rumps get most of the color and have lots of green, blue, pale yellows and of course that red rump.  Females are a mixture of non-descript olive greens with little other color.  I'm looking for a female to live with Forest in hopes he'll be happy with a friend.  But in the meantime, I think it's pretty certain.  Forest is a male.  And I never said a word! 

Grass parakeets get their common name because they like to look for seeds on the ground.