What’s Lurking In Your Backyard? – #10 King Parrot

This series looks at the variety of fauna that may be found in the suburban backyard or local reserve and the diversity may be surprising to some people. The obvious fauna are the vast array of birds that are readily seen by day and some by night, but there are numerous species that are nocturnal. Some of these nocturnal species people are familiar with as they tramp across the roof at night with what sounds like hobnail boots on, or they hear fighting in the backyard over food and territory. Others are cryptic and may only be seen infrequently when they enter the house for warmth and shelter. Each week I will highlight a different species that may be found in and around Melbourne’s backyards, parks and reserves, some may be familiar others less so.

#10 King Parrot
(Alisterus scapularis)

By far the most attractive of the parrots in the greater Melbourne area for me is the King Parrot. The male King Parrot is very distinctive with its bright red head and breast and green body. It is the only parrot species that has a completely red head. The female of the species is almost all green with the exception of its red belly. It is can be confused with the Crimson Rosella, which also has a red head and body but blue/black wings (see: What’s Lurking In Your Backyard? – #9 Crimson Rosella).

The King Parrot can be found along the east coast of Australia from northern Queensland to around western Victorian coast and extending into the ranges of the Great Divide. It prefers the wetter forests but as with many species it is expanding its range as the treed areas of the suburbs evolve and more food becomes available, especially in the eastern suburbs.

The King Parrot is usually found in pairs or small family groups and is mainly sedentary in nature. They feed on variety of fruits and seeds from a variety of trees including eucalypts and acacia’s and with the increase of fruit trees in the urban areas they are encroaching into these areas. In some areas they may become quite tame and feed from the hand or from feed tables set up for feeding birds. This should be discouraged were possible as it can lead to health problems for the birds and potentially for humans.

As with other parrot species they are hollow nested and utilise hollows in trees that are well of the ground were they lay their eggs in a bed of rotting or decayed wood matter.

© Habitat Ecology 2012

King Parrot

This entry was posted in Information. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

Habitat Ecology News

  • Rail vs Road

    A recent article in The Age newspaper has costed the Doncaster rail line at around 840 million dollars (Doncaster railway could be built for $840M, The Age July 24 2012) “Doncaster Link” . The development of this line has been proposed, talked about, costed, put on the table, been an election issue and removed sinceRead the Rest...

  • The Carbon Tax – My Take On It

    It is very interesting that the Carbon Tax is creating so much debate at present. Is this because it is a new tax, that people don’t believe in climate change or is it that Julia Gillard said we wouldn’t have a Carbon Tax? (On the last issue isn’t funny how short our memories are becauseRead the Rest...

  • NSW Recreation Shooters To Gain Access To National Parks!

    The NSW Government is attempting to pass legislation that will enable recreational shooters access to National Parks for the supposed purpose of controlling feral animals. In exchange they will vote for the privatisation of the NSW Power Stations. (Which will only drive household bills up) Isn’t this a conflict of interest and what of theRead the Rest...

Our Accreditations

Sustainable Business Leader Eclips and SGA Eclips and SGA

« Back to Information