Animal Species:Australian King-Parrot
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.
Standard Common Name
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.
41 cm to 43 cm
King-Parrots are found along the east coast and ranges of Australia, ranging from Cooktown in Queensland through to Port Campbell in Victoria.
King-Parrots are usually found in rainforests or wet sclerophyll forests.
Feeding and Diet
The King-Parrot mostly forages in trees for seeds and fruit.
Loud, high-pitched whistle, with a rolling 'carr-ack' call in flight.
Mating and reproduction
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).
- Breeding Season: September to January.
- Clutch size: 5
- Incubation: 20 days
- Time in nest: 35 days
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.
- Higgins, P.J. (ed) 1999. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds, Volume 4 (Parrots to Dollarbird). Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
- Pizzey, G. and Knight, F. 1997. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.
- Morcombe, M. 2000. Field guide to Australian Birds. Steve Parish Publishing.
Ondine Evans , Web Researcher/Editor