Bourke's Parrot

Did you know?

Another name for Bourke's Parrot is 'Night Parrot', as it will fly into watering places at night. However it is not to be confused with the real, and extremely rare,Night ParrotPezoporus occidentalis.

Calls
In flight, Bourke's Parrot makes a mellow, soft, chirruping twitter. Its alarm call is a shrill double note.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
19cm
Maximum Size: 
23cm
Average size: 
21cm
Average weight: 
45g
Breeding season: 
July to December
Clutch Size: 
3 to 6
Incubation: 
19 days
Nestling Period: 
28 days
Conservation Status
Federal: 
NSW: 
NT: 
QLD: 
SA: 
WA: 
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
304
What does it look like?
Description: 

Bourke's Parrot is a small parrot which is mostly grey-brown above and pinkish below. It has a prominent area of white around the eyes, giving a spectacled appearance. The male has a blue forehead band, with blue also on the bend of the wing, and a paler shade of blue on the flanks, side of rump and under the tail. The female Bourke's Parrot is similar, but duller. The Bourke's Parrot is also known as the Blue-vented, Night, Pink-bellied or Sundown Parrot; Blue-vented, Bourke or Pink-bellied Parakeet; and Bourke or Bourke's Grass-Parakeet.

Similar species: 

Bourke's Parrot is not like any other parrot, but in some circumstances may be confused with the Diamond DoveGeopelia cuneata.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

Bourke's Parrot is widespread across arid and semi-arid areas of the inland, from north-western New South Wales and south-western Queensland to the mid-coast of Western Australia, and from the Devil's Marbles in Northern Territory south to Port Augusta, South Australia.

Habitat: 

Bourke's Parrot is found in mulga and other acacia scrubs, and in native cypress and other open eucalypt woodlands.

Seasonal movements: 

The movements of Bourke's Parrot are not well-known. Although thought to be nomadic, it is likely that they are resident in some areas.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

Bourke's Parrots feed mainly on the ground, and only occasionally in trees. Pairs, or small groups of four to six, feed on seeds of grasses and herbs. They need to be near a source of water, which they visit usually at dawn and dusk.

Breeding: 

Bourke's Parrots form monogamous pairs. They nest in a hollow, usually vertical, of a dead tree or stump. The eggs are laid on decayed wood in the bottom of the hollow. The female incubates the eggs, leaving the nest once a day to be fed regurgitated seeds brought by the male, and both parents brood the young.

Living with us

In eastern Australia, Bourke's Parrot appears to have been adversely affected by overstocking and rabbit plagues, both of which remove understorey plants. In some areas of Western Australia, populations of Bourke's Parrots have expanded since grazing was scaled down, allowing vegetation to regenerate.

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