The Bourke 's parakeet is native to Australia and is seen throughout the central and southern interior regions. They generally prefer open habitats of arid or semi-arid scrublands and are seen in pairs or small groups, usually no larger than 10 to 30 individuals . This species was originally thought to have become extinct in the 1930's; overgrazing by sheep left little vegetation for the birds to survive on. Though their populations are increasing due to conservation efforts, these birds are still protected in Australia.
The Bourke 's parakeet is a quiet little bird, with a gentle disposition. They are most active at dawn and dusk, while being more sedentary during the day. When compared to most parrots, the Bourke's parakeet is relatively nondestructive to plants. They are quite distinct in that their primary plumage is not green, as most parrots are. Bourke's parakeets have large eyes, which may be an adaptation to the fact that they are most active when the sun is not as high.
These peaceful birds have calm dispositions that make them ideal companions for mixed flights that also house finches and cockatiels. Bourkes have a soft, pleasant voice, and are not nervous or excitable birds. Due to their non-destructive nature, it is unlikely that they will nibble on the vegetation in a planted aviary.
The main characteristic of the plumage of the Bourke is the brown colour, supplemented by dark rose and some pale blue. The main colour of the Bourke is brown, earth brown. The Bourke has multiple color mutations. One of these is the rosy Bourke. Males and females are virtually identical in appearance, though hens have darker faces and more grey scattered throughout their body. A popular mutation in the last years has been the pink Bourke. Not to be confused with the rosy, this bird is a bright pastel pink with light highlights.
Lifespan in captivity is 8-15 years.
Bourke's measure 7.5" in length, with females slightly smaller.
The average male weighs 42-49 grams.}
The Bourke is named after the governor of New South Wales in 1835 Sir Richard Bourke . This is the reason that the name Bourke is always written with a capital.