Australian King-Parrot

Did you know?

Although King-Parrots appear distinctly red and green to humans, when viewed under ultraviolet light, some feathers on the wings appear with a prominent yellow glow. Many birds have four types of cone in their retina, (compared to only three in humans) and see into the ultraviolet wavelengths.

Calls
Loud, high-pitched whistle, with a rolling "carr-ack" call in flight.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
Yes
Minimum Size: 
41cm
Maximum Size: 
43cm
Average size: 
42cm
Average weight: 
212g
Breeding season: 
September to January
Clutch Size: 
5
Incubation: 
20 days
Nestling Period: 
35 days
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
281
What does it look like?
Description: 

Male Australian King-Parrots are the only Australian parrots with a completely red head. Females are similar to males except that they have a completely green head and breast. Both sexes have a red belly and a green back, with green wings and a long green tail. King parrots are normally encountered in pairs or family groups.

Similar species: 

The adult Crimson Rosella, Platycercus elegans, is similar to the male Australian King-Parrot, but differs by having blue cheeks, shoulders, and tail, a whitish, rather than red, bill and a dark eye. Immature Crimson Rosellas also differ from female and immature King-Parrots by having blue cheeks, a whitish bill and a more yellow-green rather than dark green colouring.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

King-Parrots are found along the east coast and ranges of Australia, ranging from Cooktown in Queensland through to Port Campbell in Victoria.

Habitat: 

King-Parrots are usually found in rainforests or wet sclerophyll forests

Seasonal movements: 

Largely sedentary.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

The King-Parrot mostly forages in trees for seeds and fruit.

Breeding: 

King-Parrots lay their eggs on a bed of decayed wood-dust at the bottom of a deep hollow in the trunk of a tree. Often the entrance is high in the tree (10 m) but the eggs are near the ground (0.5 m).

Living with us

The King-Parrot appears to be increasing in abundance in well-treed suburbs. In urban areas it feeds at artificial feeding stations and fruiting trees.

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