Australian Ringneck

Did you know?

In Western Australia, these parrots are known as Twenty Eights, from the contact call - a whistled 'twen-ty-eight' - of Australian Ringnecks in the forests of the south-west.

Calls
Call loudly and often when flying or alarmed - a mellow 'kwink-kwink-kwink-kwink' or 'kling-kling'. The Port Lincoln group is more noisy and strident. The Twenty Eight Parrot is named for its call. Also, soft chattering.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
30cm
Maximum Size: 
43cm
Average size: 
36cm
Average weight: 
164g
Breeding season: 
August to December, and in response to rain.
Clutch Size: 
4 to 6 eggs
Incubation: 
20 days
Nestling Period: 
30 days
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
294
What does it look like?
Description: 

The Australian Ringneck is a large parrot, differing in size and plumage in different regions. There are four subspecies, in two main groups. All are mostly green, with an obvious yellow band on the hind-neck. Members of the Mallee group have a mainly green head and neck. The Mallee Ringneck, subspecies barnardi, has a more varied green and blue body, with more yellow underneath and a red frontal band. The Cloncurry subspecies macgillivrayi has much more yellow and pale turquoise around the face. The Port Lincoln group all have dark hoods and are mainly green. The Twenty Eight Parrot, subspecies semitorquatus, has a red frontal band and is all green underneath. The Port Lincoln Parrot, subspecies zonarius, is green and yellow underneath. All subspecies hybridise widely. They are quiet when feeding, but when disturbed fly off with loud alarm calls. Their flight is swift and undulating. This species is also known as the Mallee, Port Lincoln, Banded or Cloncurry Ringneck, Twenty Eight Parrot or Buln Buln.

Similar species: 

The Australian Ringneck is unmistakeable with a yellow hind collar on a mostly green bird.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

The Australian Ringneck is endemic to (only found in) Australia. The Mallee group is found in arid eastern Northern Territory, north-western Queensland and inland eastern Australia. The Port Lincoln group is in central and western arid Australia. Ringnecks are generally absent from coastal areas in the eastern states though aviary escapes may be found around Sydney and the Central Coast of New South Wales and the Tablelands.

Habitat: 

Australian Ringnecks are found in pairs or small flocks over lightly timbered areas, open woodlands and tree-lined watercourses.

Seasonal movements: 

They are mainly resident or sedentary, but may move in arid areas in response to rainfall.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

Australian Ringnecks feed mainly on the ground, but also in trees and shrubs, usually in the morning and late afternoon, resting in the heat of the day. They eat seeds, and some fruits, flowers, nectar and insects and their larvae. They often feed on spilt grain on roadsides.

Breeding: 

Australian Ringnecks lay their eggs in hollows in living or dead trees on a bare base or on rotting wood dust. They enter through a hole in the trunk, a knothole or a spout. The female incubates the eggs while being fed by the male and she may leave the nest for a short time to be fed by him. The young are fed by both parents and often can be seen at the mouth of the hollow.

Living with us

In the east, numbers are affected by clearing of mallee scrub and woodland for agriculture. Ringnecks were considered vermin in Western Australia and were shot as orchard pests in open shooting seasons. Aviary escapees are seen around urban areas in the east.

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