Cloncurry Parrots

A pair of Cloncurry Parrots - Barnadius zonarius macgillivrayi - As the name would imply, named after the Nth Qld town Cloncurry. A much sought after species that are still difficult to source. The cockbird is generally the more brightly coloured of the two and they are about the size of the larger Rosella. Until recently, this species was on the Restricted Schedule and required a birdkeeper to hold a "specialist" licence. Probably still not a bird for the beginner.

The above pair. Note the similarity in the pattern of chest/abdomen markings to the 28 and Port Lincoln. This genus of birds are known as the Australian Ringnecks as all four of the species have the yellow "ring neck".

Golden-shouldered Parrots

Pair of Golden-shouldered Parrots - Psephotus chrysoptergius - Recently taken off the Restricted species schedule the species ranges throughout the SE region of the Cape York - a much sought after bird that commands a reasonable price - the Golden-shoulder and the Hooded Parrot (NT) are commonly called "ant-bed parrots" as they use live ant/termite mounds as nesting sites in the wild. In captivity they adapt well to the use of a nest-box.

The same pair with the cock-bird about to feed the hen - this feeding routine is generally a precursor to mating/breeding and can last a couple of weeks before mating and egg laying. Nest inspections by the pair are also common at this time.

Mulga Parrots

Mulga Parrot cockbird - Psephotus varius - a stunning bird that has multiple shades of green as part of the colour scheme ranges throughout the dry/arid (mulga tree) interior regions of Qld/NSW/NE Vic/SA and WA. Not that commonly kept.

Pair of Mulga's - this pair is nesting (May 2010) - note the bulge at the vent area of the hen, this indicates that she is about ready to lay an egg. Nesting at this time of the year is a wee bit earlier than normal.

Mallee Ringneck Parrots

The Mallee Ringneck - Barnadius zonarius barnadi - The fourth of the Aussie ring-necked parrots and they range from SW Queensland, western most NSW through to North eastern SA. Commonly kept or certainly more so than the Port Lincoln or Cloncurry. The body colour varies much more with the Mallee's than with the others and the speckle yellow/orange breast markings can be slight to very distinct. Generally the hen is a duller version of the cockbird.

The same pair showing the dark colouring of the mantle and back. Probably not as colourful as the Cloncurry but a pretty specimen all the same.

Port Lincoln Parrots

Pair of Port Lincoln parrots - Barnadius zonarius zonarius - as the name implies, originally sighted in the Port lincoln region of SA. A large range that covers central Aust regions of SA/NT and WA. True Port's can be hard to come by. They must not have any red feathers around the cere/nostril area of the head and the chest/abdomen area must have a relatively clear-cut "line" between the green chest and lemon abdomen. The Port has (in the wild), invariably and frequently hybridised with the Twenty-eight Parrot Barnadius zonarius semitorquatos. The hybrid resembles the 28 in size and the Port in general markings and normally has the red facial feathers of the 28.

A Port cock-bird - note the clear cut "line" between the chest/abdomen colours.

Red-capped Parrot

Red-capped Parrot, cockbird, - Purpurecephalus spurius - also commonly called the "Western King Parrot". Ranges in the very heavily timbered regions of SW West Aust. Generally quite rare in captivity and even some aviary bred specimens remain skittish and never settle to captive life. Hand raised pairs are probably the best option for keeping as an aviary specimen and breeding success. A magnificent looking bird that really is a "king" among the Aussie parrots.

The hen Red-cap, another striking bird but generally a duller version of the cockbird. Hens usually have some green feathers about the head particularly around the eyes.

Red-vented Blue-bonnet Parrot

A pair of Red-vented Blue-bonnet Parrots -Northiella (sometimes Psephotus) haematorrhous - the Red-vented, ranges through the interior of southern Qld/northern NSW. Note the extension of the red under-belly colour that extends to and past the vent region and also the distinct chocolate shoulder patch. Red-vented's are fairly commonly kept ( though not up here) and reasonably priced. One of the main reasons for this birds "un-popularity" is their very aggressive nature, even to much larger birds. Not a bird for the beginner, they must be housed one pair per flight and generally out of sight of other Blue-bonnets. They are unusual for a parrot in that they raise a "crest" when they get excited (which is quite often). Big eaters, they will consume a lot more seed than their size may indicate. Also very messy with their water bowl. My pairs have been model parents but care should be taken when young birds first fledge, particularly if there are fledgling males.

Regent Parrot

Regent Parrot - Polytelis anthopeplus - There are two sub-species, the Eastern which are a greeny yellow in general body colour and the western sub-species which are a smoky olive colour. The pair in the pic are the Eastern variety. Extremely quiet and docile birds that will tolerate a mixed collection of Finches and Neophemas in a communal aviary. the hens as well as not being as brightly coloured, have pinkish striations to the underside of the tail feathers. The Regents, Princess and to a lesser extent the Superb are lazy birds and generally need a sloped nest box to stop the hen from "jumping" down the nest from the entrance and squashing the young.

Superb or Barraband Parrot

The Superb or also called Barraband Parrot - Polytelis swainsonie - One of the few larger Aussie parrots where the sexes can be visually determined. The cockbird has the multi-coloured face and the hen is rather plain in comparison. very quiet birds that are reasonably common in captivity. they range along the water courses of the Murrumbidgee River system. Agriculture has made them fairly rare in the wild but a number of recovery programs is addressing their rarity. They are susceptible to paralysis so a diet that is high in calcium is a must.

Twenty-eight Parrot

Twenty-eight Parrot - Barnadius zonarius semitorquatos - Named Twenty-eight by early settlers as they imagined it's call resembled a high pitched voice crying 28, 28. The pic is of a "true" pair. Note the two shades of green to the chest and abdomen and the absence of any yellow feathers or colouring. Note also the red feathers just above the cere (nostrils). The cockbird is generally the larger bird and invariably has more red to the cere area. They range from about Perth down through the SW of West Aust. Bothe the 28 and the Red-cap can be legally trapped and sold but unfortunately, many do not make the transition from wild to captive very well.

Twenty-eight Parrot - The "wheat-belt" variety which has over many years, hybridised with the Port Lincoln to form the current form. Prolific throughout mid western West Aust through to south eastern South Aust. Possibly up into the lower NT as well. The birds have the size, red markings and mannerisms of the 28 blended with the lemon yellow abdomen of the Port Lincoln. Many examples of 28's in captivity are these wheat-belt birds.

Yellow-vented Blue-bonnet Parrot

A yellow-vented Blue-bonnet cock-bird - Northiella haematogaster -not commonly kept and can be considered as fairly rare in captivity. Note the lack of the shoulder patch and the red under-belly stops short of the vent and is yellow to the under tail area. Attitude as for the Red-vented cousin.