The horned parakeet is just over 12 inches long, predominantly green in color; the wing primaries and tail is colored a vivid violet blue. Yellow is on the underparts and nape of the neck. The face is black, and the head is capped in red. Two black, red-tipped feathers jut backwards from the top of the head, giving the bird its name.
Horned parakeets live in pairs of small flocks, living in the dense woodlands consisting of Agathis and Araucaria pines, from sea level to 3,600 feet in the mountains. They eat seeds and nuts primarily from the forest canopy, but tend to avoid human plantations. Nests are sometimes on the ground, either within rock cavities or in the hollows of fallen trees, but more often within established tree holes. 2-4 eggs are laid in a clutch, taking up to 22 days to hatch.
Despite captive birds on New Caledonia, there has never been an active trade involving horned parakeets in the pet bird industry. Habitat loss and animals introduced by man (primarily rats) have since 1880 reduced the overall population to approximately 9,000 individuals, the majority of which are small flocks restricted to the northwestern area of the Mt. Panié massif. Laws are in place on the island prohibiting trade, and careful monitoring has recorded a slight increase in the population.