Mulga Parrot

Did you know?

 Mulga Parrots are monogamous and in captivity birds that pair up when young are more successful breeders. In one case when the mates of two pairs were swapped the males called continuously to their old mates, who were in neighbouring cages, and ignored the new females. 

Calls
Mulga Parrots are not particularly noisy. There is a contact call, described as a soft whistle, repeated 3 or 4 times, and there is a soft chattering call which is only given occasionally while feeding.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
27cm
Maximum Size: 
32cm
Average size: 
30cm
Average weight: 
55g
Breeding season: 
July - December in south; in autumn in north; may breed at other times after good rain.
Clutch Size: 
4 - 7, usually 6.
Incubation: 
21 days
Conservation Status
Federal: 
NSW: 
NT: 
QLD: 
SA: 
VIC: 
WA: 
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Atlas Number: 
296
What does it look like?
Description: 

The adult male Mulga Parrot is mostly emerald green in colour, but has a yellow band across its lower forehead, a yellow patch on its shoulder, dark red patches on tits crown and on its rump, and a red to orange-red area on its belly and thighs. It has dark blue on the leading edges of its wings and the wings are blackish towards their ends. The adult female is dull brownish green, with a red mark on the top of its head and its shoulders, and a green rump. Immature birds are similar to the female.This bird is also called the Many-coloured or Varied Parrot or the Many-coloured Parakeet.

Similar species: 

The Red-rumped Parrot, P. haematonotus lacks the red crown.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

The Mulga Parrot is found in central southern Queensland; west of the Great Dividing Range in New South Wales; in the Mallee country of north-western Victoria; throughout much of South Australia; and in Western Australia south of about 23*S. 

Habitat: 

The Mulga Parrot is found in arid or semi-arid, sparse, even stunted, shrublands and woodlands often dominated by Acacias, eucalypts, native pines (Callitris) or Casuarinas. Its habitat usually has a ground cover of low shrubs, spinifex, samphire or chenopods.

Seasonal movements: 

The seasonal movements of the Mulga Parrot are not well known, but it is usually considered to be either nomadic or to stay in much the same area all year.Mulga Parrots eat the seeds of grasses, shrubs and trees, and also flowers and fruit and occassionally insect larvae. They usually feed in pairs or as a small group consisting of parents and young.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

Mulga Parrots eat the seeds of grasses, shrubs and trees, and also flowers and fruit and occassionally insect larvae. They usually feed in pairs or as a small group consisting of parents and young.

Breeding: 

Mulga Parrots nest in tree hollows, usually in eucalypts and often near water, but will also use other trees and sometimes even holes in sandbanks, cliff faces and man-made structures. The hollows used for nesting may be lined with wood dust and wood chips. The female does all the incubarting, but both parents help feed the chicks. 

Living with us

Populations of Mulga Parrots have declined in some areas, but it is not clear why, however their range has increased in the Western Australian Wheatbelt since the 1960s.  

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