1D3F1580.jpg

Australian Parrots

Australia is the land of the parrots with over 50 species, members of the Psittaciformes. Australia has two familys from this order, the Psittacidae or true parrots and the Cacatuidae or cockatoo family. The parrots are large colourful birds with powerful bills for cracking seeds and nuts and also feed on fruit, nectar and sometimes insects. Many depend on hollows in mature trees to nest. The recently re-discovered Night Parrot is a true parrot.

Photo: The Crimson Rosella (37cm) is one of six Rosella sub-species, and inhabits woodlands and forests in eastern Australia. Rosellas are among the 40 true parrots in Australia.They feed on eucalypt and grass seeds as well as insects. Crimson Rosellas vary widely in colour from region to region.

The Western Rosella (28 cm) sports a more subtle livery, inhabiting the woodlands of the south-west corner of Australia. Western Rosellas feed on grass seeds and in trees on nectar and insects.

The Western Rosella (28 cm) sports a more subtle livery, inhabiting the woodlands of the south-west corner of Australia. Western Rosellas feed on grass seeds and in trees on nectar and insects.

The Eastern Rosella (33 cm) is found in the open woodlands of Tasmania and south-east corner of Australia. They feed mainly from the ground on seeds, but also eat fruit, nectar and insects.

The Eastern Rosella (33 cm) is found in the open woodlands of Tasmania and south-east corner of Australia. They feed mainly from the ground on seeds, but also eat fruit, nectar and insects.

The Superb Parrot (42 cm) is a vulnerable resident of NSW and north Victoria woodlands. The “Saving our Superb Parrot” conservation program plants paddock trees, plant wattles and hopbush - food for Superbs, and creates nesting hollows in existing trees.

The Superb Parrot (42 cm) is a vulnerable resident of NSW and north Victoria woodlands. The “Saving our Superb Parrot” conservation program plants paddock trees, plant wattles and hopbush - food for Superbs, and creates nesting hollows in existing trees.

Australia’s largest true parrot is the King-Parrot (44 cm), found in the rainforests of Australia’s east coast. Australian King-Parrots feed in the trees on seeds and fruit. The male is recognised by its scarlet head while the female’s head is green.

Australia’s largest true parrot is the King-Parrot (44 cm), found in the rainforests of Australia’s east coast. Australian King-Parrots feed in the trees on seeds and fruit. The male is recognised by its scarlet head while the female’s head is green.

The Australian Cockatoo family includes these Little Corellas, Cockatiels and Galahs as well as the large Cockatoos. Little Corellas (39 cm) are found widely across Australia, sometimes in very big flocks, feeding mainly on grass-seeds.

The Australian Cockatoo family includes these Little Corellas, Cockatiels and Galahs as well as the large Cockatoos. Little Corellas (39 cm) are found widely across Australia, sometimes in very big flocks, feeding mainly on grass-seeds.

The endangered Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo (60 cm) is found in the woodlands of south-west Australia. It feeds on pine, grevillea and banksia seeds. These Black-Cockatoos can live to over 40 years in the wild.

The endangered Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo (60 cm) is found in the woodlands of south-west Australia. It feeds on pine, grevillea and banksia seeds. These Black-Cockatoos can live to over 40 years in the wild.

Galahs (38 cm) are one of Australia’s most widespread birds, found in cities, on beaches and in the bush. They feed on seeds from the ground and take advantage of cultivated grain production supplemented by nectar.

Galahs (38 cm) are one of Australia’s most widespread birds, found in cities, on beaches and in the bush. They feed on seeds from the ground and take advantage of cultivated grain production supplemented by nectar.

The raucous Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (50 cm) is also widely seen in Australia’s northern and eastern states. Their normal diet consists of berries, seeds, nuts and roots but they also chop the end of small branches and attack wooden window panes.

The raucous Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (50 cm) is also widely seen in Australia’s northern and eastern states. Their normal diet consists of berries, seeds, nuts and roots but they also chop the end of small branches and attack wooden window panes.

The Red-Tailed Black-Cockatoo (65 cm) is seen in the north, the west and some central areas of Australia. They eat eucalypt, casuarina and banksia seeds using their bill to extract seeds from hard seed pods. They tear holes in trees to find insect larvae.

The Red-Tailed Black-Cockatoo (65 cm) is seen in the north, the west and some central areas of Australia. They eat eucalypt, casuarina and banksia seeds using their bill to extract seeds from hard seed pods. They tear holes in trees to find insect larvae.

These Glossy Black-Cockatoos (50 cm) drink at dusk at a waterhole in a large casuarina woodland. They are found in south east Australia, extracting the seed from casuarina cones supplemented by occasional insect larvae.

These Glossy Black-Cockatoos (50 cm) drink at dusk at a waterhole in a large casuarina woodland. They are found in south east Australia, extracting the seed from casuarina cones supplemented by occasional insect larvae.

The languid flight and wailing call of the Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (65 cm) make it a favourite for many. Found in southern Queensland, NSW , Vic. SA and Tasmania. Feed on seeds of trees and shrubs and sometimes insects.

The languid flight and wailing call of the Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (65 cm) make it a favourite for many. Found in southern Queensland, NSW , Vic. SA and Tasmania. Feed on seeds of trees and shrubs and sometimes insects.

There is a third parrot family, the Strigopoidea, with only three surviving members, all found in New Zealand. The New Zealand Kaka (45 cm) above feeds on fruit, nectar and insects and is found in pockets on New Zealand’s main and offshore islands.

There is a third parrot family, the Strigopoidea, with only three surviving members, all found in New Zealand. The New Zealand Kaka (45 cm) above feeds on fruit, nectar and insects and is found in pockets on New Zealand’s main and offshore islands.

Lorikeets are true parrots. The Red-collared Lorikeet (31 cm) is only found in the Northern Territory and north of Western Australia. They feed on fruit, nectar, blossoms, seeds and berries.

Lorikeets are true parrots. The Red-collared Lorikeet (31 cm) is only found in the Northern Territory and north of Western Australia. They feed on fruit, nectar, blossoms, seeds and berries.

The Rainbow Lorikeet (31cm) is another of Australia’s most common birds found along the east coast, the south-east and Perth. They are aggressive out competing others for nest sites and food. The King Parrot on the right waits her turn for food!

The Rainbow Lorikeet (31cm) is another of Australia’s most common birds found along the east coast, the south-east and Perth. They are aggressive out competing others for nest sites and food. The King Parrot on the right waits her turn for food!

The Musk Lorikeet (23 cm) is found across Australia’s south-east. Here it is seen feeding on pollen and nectar high in an eucalypt tree. Musk Lorikeets are nomadic, arriving in numbers at abundant sources of their food.

The Musk Lorikeet (23 cm) is found across Australia’s south-east. Here it is seen feeding on pollen and nectar high in an eucalypt tree. Musk Lorikeets are nomadic, arriving in numbers at abundant sources of their food.

The Varied Lorikeet (20 cm) is a bird of the north. Also nomadic, they are found in tropical forest and woodlands where trees are flowering close to water sources. They feed on nectar and pollen.

The Varied Lorikeet (20 cm) is a bird of the north. Also nomadic, they are found in tropical forest and woodlands where trees are flowering close to water sources. They feed on nectar and pollen.

The “Mallee Ringneck” (38 cm) is one of the Australian Ringneck races found across Australia’s dry centre and west. The Mallee Ringneck inhabits southern inland Queensland to central NSW and SA. They feed on seeds, fruits, nectar, insects and grain.

The “Mallee Ringneck” (38 cm) is one of the Australian Ringneck races found across Australia’s dry centre and west. The Mallee Ringneck inhabits southern inland Queensland to central NSW and SA. They feed on seeds, fruits, nectar, insects and grain.

The Swift Parrot (26 cm) is named for its swift flight.They feed on nectar and lerps high in the canopy of eucalypts. Swift parrots breed in Tasmania and migrate north to Australia’s south east region. Forest clearing has caused declines in numbers and it is now listed as an endangered species.

The Swift Parrot (26 cm) is named for its swift flight.They feed on nectar and lerps high in the canopy of eucalypts. Swift parrots breed in Tasmania and migrate north to Australia’s south east region. Forest clearing has caused declines in numbers and it is now listed as an endangered species.

Red-rumped Parrots (28 cm) inhabit the open grasslands and woodlands of south east Australia. They eat grass seeds and will also feed on seeds and fruits from trees. Like the Ringnecks, Red-winged, Hooded and Mulga Parrots they are“true parrots”.

Red-rumped Parrots (28 cm) inhabit the open grasslands and woodlands of south east Australia. They eat grass seeds and will also feed on seeds and fruits from trees. Like the Ringnecks, Red-winged, Hooded and Mulga Parrots they are“true parrots”.

Mulga Parrots (30 cm) inhabit the inland semi-dry areas; the mallees, mulgas and saltbushes of the southern half of Australia. Mulga Parrots eat the seeds of grasses and trees, flowers, fruit and insect larvae.

Mulga Parrots (30 cm) inhabit the inland semi-dry areas; the mallees, mulgas and saltbushes of the southern half of Australia. Mulga Parrots eat the seeds of grasses and trees, flowers, fruit and insect larvae.

The spectacular Hooded Parrot (26 cm) lives in the dry savannah woodlands of the Northern Territory. It feeds on seeds, berries and vegetables. They are famous for tunnelling into giant termite mounds to nest.

The spectacular Hooded Parrot (26 cm) lives in the dry savannah woodlands of the Northern Territory. It feeds on seeds, berries and vegetables. They are famous for tunnelling into giant termite mounds to nest.

This Red-winged Parrot (32 cm) was in open shrubby NT grassland, typical for this bird. Their range extends from Papua New Guinea across the north, Queensland and central north NSW. They feed in the trees on fruit, seeds, nectar and insects.

This Red-winged Parrot (32 cm) was in open shrubby NT grassland, typical for this bird. Their range extends from Papua New Guinea across the north, Queensland and central north NSW. They feed in the trees on fruit, seeds, nectar and insects.