Just as they are in the mighty elephant, the differences between the African and Indian varieties of ringneck parrots are minor, but significant. Size and color variations can be subtle, but either variety of ringneck can fill your home -- and heart -- with song.
African ringnecks look quite similar to their Indian cousins, but whereas Indian ringnecks are a vibrant deep green, African ringnecks are more of a lime green. Also, the signature black ring around the male African's neck is thicker and more prominent than that of the Indian variety. Conversely, the rose-colored ring is more prominent in the Indian ringneck. The Indian ringneck also has a larger red beak, whereas the African has a smaller plum-colored beak.
A more obvious way to tell an Indian from an African ringneck is its size and tail length. African ringnecks are roughly the size of a cockatiel, about 11 to 13 inches, while Indian ringnecks are usually about 16 inches. African ringnecks' tails, however, are longer relative to their bodies than those of their Indian cousins. Indian ringnecks are slightly heavier as well. They typically weigh 120 to 125 grams, whereas African ringnecks typically weigh 110 to 120 grams.
Indian ringnecks tend to be more aggressive than their African cousins and are not recommended for novice bird owners. Rearing requires patience, positive reinforcement and gentile dominance. Indian ringnecks tend to bite, scream and behave badly as they grow through babyhood. While neither variety is especially cuddly, African ringnecks like to sit on their owners' shoulders and enjoy being petted alongside their neck. They do not, however, like to be being petted elsewhere on their bodies.
Males vs. Females
Both varieties of ringneck are sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females are easily identified. Only the males develop a black ring, usually around 18 months, though it can take up to three years. Females do not develop an obvious ring, but rather one that is a paler green than their body color. It typically takes close inspection to notice it.