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what do kakariki noises mean?

7 Kakariki Sounds And Meanings (Explained)

Although quieter than cockatoos and macaws, kakarikis can still be very vocal. The sounds kakarikis make are a big part of their charm.

The most common sound made by kakarikis is their signature “ka ka ka” chatter, which they do when happy. Mating sounds of kakarikis include singing and clicking noises (in males), while warning calls sound like a siren. Many pet kakarikis learn to talk, which shows their intelligence.

When decoding the meaning of kakariki noises, you should look at body language, too. For example, clicking noises can signal mating behavior or territorial aggression, depending on the body language.  

What Noise Does a Kakariki Make?

According to Watchbird, the Kakariki is known for its distinctive and constant chatter. And funnily enough, this constant chatter sounds like the Kakariki is saying, “ki ki ki ki.”

The tempo of this chatter varies slightly, depending on which type of Kakariki you have. Orange-fronted kakarikis (Cyanoramphus malherbi) have a slightly faster chatter than Yellow-crowned kakarikis (Cyanoramphus auriceps).

Chattering is the most common kakariki noise, but it’s not the only noise kakarikis make!

All Kakariki Noises

Below you’ll find all the different sounds kakarikis make and how often they make them. As we’ll see later, some kakariki noises are more common in males than females. Also, things like personality and handling can determine how common a kakariki sound is.

Kakariki NoiseDescriptionHow Common?
Chatter (Ka Ka Ka Ka)Continuous chatter and natter.Very common
SingingLouder chatter, interspersed with chirping and tweeting.Fairly common
Clicking NoiseClicking tongue on the roof of the mouth.Fairly common
Siren (Warning Call)Loud, shrill – sounds like a siren.Rare
Mating SoundsClicking, singing, loud chatter.Common during the breeding season
ScreamingHigh-pitched screaming, fear-based.Rare
TalkingCopying human sounds/words.Rare – moderately common

Kakariki Noise Meaning

It’s important to learn what kakariki noises mean. That said, it’s worth remembering that noises rarely have just one meaning. Just like humans shout for more than one reason (e.g., to express anger and excitement), kakariki noises can also have more than one function.

That’s why when asking the question, “what do kakariki noises mean?” it’s important to look at your parrot’s body language, too. This will give you a clearer understanding of exactly what their noises mean.

Here’s how to decipher exactly what your Kakariki’s noises mean:

1/ Kakariki Chattering

As mentioned, the most common kakariki noise you’ll hear is chattering. According to NZBirds, wild kakarikis live in flocks and chatter with each other constantly.

Kakarikis’ fast-paced chatter is cute and endearing to humans because it makes them seem upbeat, energized, and ready to play.

What does kakariki chatter sound like? Well, it’s like a soft and continuous vibrating natter. It sounds like a cartoon character mumbling and interspersed with cute chirps and squeaks.

Think of Kakariki chattering as purring; it signifies that your parrot is happy and content. Fluffed-up facial feathers and a willingness to fly straight to your arm are additional signs that your Kakariki is content.

2/ Kakariki Singing

Singing is another common vocalization you’ll hear from a kakariki.

Singing is like chattering, but it’s louder and more animated. Singing is less likely to be continuous – it’s more deliberate than the chatter.

Like chatter, singing can be a sign of contentment. However, kakarikis might also sing to mark their territory or ask for attention. If your Kakariki is constantly singing and bobbing its head forward, it might be bored and in need of attention.  

what noise does a kakariki make?

3/ Kakariki Clicking Noise

It’s not unusual for kakarikis to make a clicking noise with their beaks.

This “clicking” noise is caused by the parrot pressing its tongue on the roof of its mouth. It can mean a few different things, but it’s usually a mating behavior.

More specifically, it’s a sign that the male is ready to regurgitate food for the female.

According to the Department of Conservation, male Kakariki will regurgitate food for their female partner while she is nesting.

The male makes a clicking noise to let the female know he is ready to regurgitate. Tail wagging (alongside beak clicking) is another sign of mating behavior.

That said, beak clicking can also be a sign that your Kakariki is defending its territory. Additional signs to look out for include head bobbing, enlarged eyes, ruffled feathers, and pacing up and down its perch. In this scenario, beak clicking could warn you to “back off,” or your Kakariki may bite.

4/ Kakariki Warning Call

 It could be a warning call if your Kakariki makes a very loud or unusual sound.

Some kakariki warning calls sound like sirens (very rapid-paced squawking). Others have described kakariki warning calls as “vibrating screams.”

Birds use warning calls to warn their flocks about threats, according to Bird Spot. Warning calls tend to be loud to carry over long distances and are usually short, so the bird doesn’t identify itself as a threat.

That said, if your Kakariki calls out for longer, it’s more likely to sing or ask for attention. Warning calls, on the other hand, are short and sharp.

Your Kakariki might give a warning call if a new person or pet enters the household.

5/ Kakariki Mating Sounds

When it comes to kakariki mating sounds, you’ll likely hear the following:

  • Beak clicking (typically only males)
  • Continuous chirping/chatter
  • Singing more often than usual
  • Females may whine

The above sounds aren’t necessarily mating sounds, so it’s best to look at your Kakariki’s body language, too. According to Exotic Direct, the following are signs of mating behavior in parrots:

  • Head bobbing
  • Regurgitating food
  • Wings quivering or drooping
  • Tail wiggling

Remember that your Kakariki might make mating sounds towards their “favorite person” in the household, especially if they don’t have a parrot mate.

You should discourage this kind of favoritism as it can lead to problems over time.

6/ Kakariki Screaming

As you’d probably guess, Kakariki screaming usually signals trouble. Kakariki will scream when they sense imminent danger, like a predator.

They may also scream and fly around the cage if they’re dealing with grief and loss (e.g., the death of their cage mate). Kakariki may also scream if they suffer intense physical pain from injury or illness.

If your Kakariki is screaming seemingly without cause, you should immediately take your parrot to the vet, as it could have been injured.  

7/Kakariki Talking

The last major sound you might hear coming out of your Kakariki’s beak is talking. Although not as talkative as the African Grey parrot, kakarikis are very clever and can mimic human speech.

A study published in Springer shows that kakarikis are very intelligent – sharing similar cognitive and perceptual skills to a human toddler.

A kakariki might need some encouragement to mimic your speech, to begin with, but once they’ve learned that talking gets your attention, they will probably become a chatterbox.

kakariki noise meaning

What Age Do Kakarikis Talk?

Kakarikis start vocalizing soon after being hatched. They can begin to make the “ka ka ka” sound within the first few weeks of life.

Talking takes longer. Many parrots (including kakarikis) will start to talk between 4 and 10 months old.  

It should be said that some kakarikis are very quiet and rarely chatter or talk. This could be because of genetic differences or differences in handling, and it isn’t necessarily something to worry about. Also, there are ways you can encourage your Kakariki to talk more.

How To Encourage a Kakariki to Talk

If your Kakariki hasn’t begun talking, you should begin with simple words with no more than two syllables.

A phrase like “Hello” is ideal as it has two syllables, and you can use it daily in an authentic situation (greeting your Kakariki in the morning).

When your Kakariki is relaxed, try saying “He-llo” in a high-pitched tone. According to Omelet, it’s best to express words with genuine emotion and to use a high-pitched tone, as parrots respond better to higher pitches.

Give your Kakariki a treat each time it repeats a new word. Remember to keep language learning a fun and rewarding process; your Kakariki will be talking in no time!

Can Female Kakarikis Talk?

Both male and female kakarikis can talk, though males seem chattier than females. That’s not to say that a female couldn’t be taught to talk more.  

In terms of kakariki sounds, the most common female kakariki sounds are “ka ka ka” chattering and singing. Some kakariki owners also report female kakarikis purring when they’re happy and content.

Female kakarikis are less likely to make the beak clicking sound that pre-empts regurgitation. This is because regurgitation is a male mating behavior in kakarikis.

Are Kakarikis Loud?

Kakarikis aren’t as noisy as parrots like macaws and cockatoos.

In terms of decibels, a kakariki’s “ka ka ka” isn’t that loud, but it can go on for quite a long time. Also, a kakariki’s chatter is one of the cutest things about them.

Kakarikis often aren’t ideal pets for apartments as they might disturb the neighbors.