The horned parrot

This formerly aviary bird, a fairly rare parrot living in its natural habitat in Central New- Caledonia, includes apart from its nominate… (Eunymphicus c. cornutus) one other subspecies called the Uvea-homed parrot (Eunymphicus c. uvaeensis).

  • French: Perruche cornue
  • English: Crested Parrot, or Horned Parrot
  • German: Hornsittich
  • Scientifical: Eunymphicus c. cornutus


1.    Nominate form.

  • Male: green; yellowish-green to breast, abdomen and under tail-coverts; lower back greenish-yellow; ear-coverts and nape yellow; forehead and crown red; lores and frontal cheek area black; crest of two seldom three black feathers with red tips of circa 7 – 8 centimetres; outer webs of flight feathers violet-blue.  The iris is orange-red and the feet dark-grey.  The bill of the horned parrot is pale bluish-grey with a blackish tip.
  • Female: The same as the male but she is smaller and the crestfeathers are shorter and smaller and bended more upwards instead of the S forming creastfeathers of the male. Both sexes can be recognized just like the kakariki parrot to whom they are close related to., by the bill and head.  A female has a smaller bill and head then a male.
  • Immatures: as adults, but with duller plumage.  The iris brownish dark and the bill horn-coloured.
  • Distribution: New Caledonia
  • Cites

2.    Ouvean

  • Description: As cornutus, but ear-coverts and nape are green and only the centre of forehead is red.  The facial area is greenish-black.  The crest consists of six green feathers which are strong bended behind.  The bill is black.  The female is smaller as the male en for the difference of the sexes I refer to the nominate form.
  • Distribution:Ouvea, Loyalty Islands
  • Cites

The homed parrot is about 32 cm long.

As this bird is registered in the Cites list, the necessary documents are needed in order to be able to breed it.

It’s call  sounds like “ko-kot” … “ko-kot” .

When being in danger it has a shrill voice, but it certainly isn’t a noise-maker.


The homed parrot should be housed in an aviary which is 3 to 4 m long, 1,5 m wide and 2 m high, also containing a frostfree interior box .  In former days the interior box  was lightly warmed, but nowadays this is no longer necessary.  The bird has adjusted itself well to our climate.  Our breeder has an aviary partially provided with sand that is regularly refreshed.  It loves staying in the sandy section at several occasions, and just as the kakariki parrot it takes pleasure in tossing about in the sand and making holes in it.


A log  (or a selfmade model) 50 to 80 cm high, its diametre 25 cm, makes a fine nest .  It’s entrance hole diameter has to be about 7 cm.

There’s no harm in putting two nestboxes  at the birds’s disposal which they can choose from.


Mr Jos Aertgeerts has several home parrot pairs and breeds them successfully.  He’s put a lot of effort in bringing 100% not kindred bird pairs together.  A lot of pairs are the offspring of in-breeding which often causes a high death-rate.  If you do take care of putting not related pairs together, there’ll hardly be any problem in breeding at all.

Jos’s birds originate from different countries all over Europe: He may rightly take pride in having such a pure and fine bird collection.  He breeds +/- 6-10 youngsters per year.

Would you like to have more information about these beautiful parrots, don’t hesistate to contact Jos through me.  In the Netherlands and Germany there are also a few breeders who breeds well with the horned parrot.


The breeder’d better feeds the homed parrot with a seed mixture containing a variety of barley: cardi, buckwheat, canary seed, a variety of millet, peeled rice and only a few sunflower seeds.  The quantity of sunflower seeds can be raised as soon as there are young and also during the colder months in the year.  Additional to this mixture, a variety of fruit, berries and nuts: apples, pears, carrots, bananas, kiwis, red beet , peppers, cucumbers, oranges, rose-hip, dandelions and sproited seeds, will contribute to the bird’s benefit.

Apart from the breeding season the birdkeeper gives the parrot a mixture of 2 kinds of eggfood 2 or 3 times a week complemented with old white ground bread, beer yeast (barm), minerals, some moistened kouskous and carrot.  During the breeding  season however this blend is daily fed to the bird.

Every day the homed parrot has to dispose of drinking and bathing water.

Sepia, iodine stone (=pink stone the birds pick on) and a mixture which is a variety of 3 kinds of grit (oyster grit, sharp little stones for the stomage and classic grit) too are always best at hand.

They enable the bird to absorb the necessary calcium essential for a good digesting of the food.   (the long thing with millet seeds in it +/- 14 cm) and insects such as eggs of ants  and mealworms are eagerly consumed.

The homed parrot isn’t really a wood gnawer, but it does appreciate some young twigs from fruittrees and willow branches from time to time.  When gnawing the buds and the young bark the parrot will enjoy itself to its heart’s content.


It appears that the homed parrot is a bird of darkness closely related to the kakariki parrot.

The formerly dares having two rounds in , November to July, its breeding period.

The female lays three to five eggs, which she broods for about twenty-one to twenty-two days.

After thirty-five to forty-five days the young start to fledge.  For four weeks the parents will continue to feed them.  But as soon as these are over, the young’ll have become independent and no longer need further assistance.

Then the young are closed banded  with a 6 mm ring.

Be aware that the father may dare to attack its young.  It wouldn’t certainly be the first time such an action took place.

The homed parrot is ready to breed at the age of two or three.

During the courtship the male and female bow to one another with their crests, directed forwards.  Surely a nice view to behold!

In conclusion: the homed parrot is very vulnerable to worm infestation and should therefore be looked well after concerning this matter, as it spends a lot of time on the floor