Types of Parrots in Australia


There are many different types of parrots in Australia.


Parrots are the most colourful group of Australian birds. They are very easy to see because they are always flying around or feeding in trees in large noisy groups. You don’t need to go to the bush looking for them – Australia’s most beautiful birds are even found in city streets.

Red Collared Rainbow Lorikeets Flock in Tree, Western Australia
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Facts about Parrots and Cockatoos
Parrots and cockatoos are two different families of birds that belong to the same order, Psittaciformes. Although they are found on all the tropical and subtropical continents in the world such as India, Africa, South-east Asia and southern regions in North America, by far the most of the world’s 350 species of parrots and cockatoos are found in Australia and South America. Because they are mainly found in the Southern Hemisphere, it is believed that they evolved on Gondwana continent.

Crimson Rosella (Juvenile), Yarra Ranges National Park, Victoria, Australia, Pacific
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Types of Parrots of the Southern Hemisphere
Early naturalists called Australia the Land of Parrots – for a good reason. There is no single place in this country where you find no Australian parrots. Some species cover many different habitats, others are more specialised, but wherever you go in Australia, whether it’s tropical rainforests, arid deserts or temperate eucalypt forests, there are always some parrots.

Male Eclectus Parrots (Eclectus Roratus), the Wildlife Habitat, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia
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What Do the Different Types of Parrots Eat
The most obvious characteristic of parrots is their strong curved bill. Exactly what parrots eat depends on the species. Most eat seeds, nectar, fruit and pollen, some species even insects when feeding young. Parrots are also most often very colourful birds, with a green, blue, red, and yellow-coloured plumage. So what about camouflage, many people wonder. But watch the parrots in trees and you notice that they are camouflaged - their backs are often green as the tree canopy, and heads are colourful as the flowers they eat. Many species have several colours but they match the trees they visit and blossoms they eat. In fact, if parrots weren’t so noisy, it wouldn’t be so easy to see them.

Pale-Headed Rosella, Platycercus Eximius Palliceps, Eating Berries
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How Long Do Different Types of Parrots Live?
Parrots live for a long time, but exactly how long do parrots live depends on the type of parrot. They in life-long bonds and even though most parrot species socialise in large groups, a couplea is always close to each other even outside the breeding season. They play together, touch and cling to each other, and feed each other. Although there are some ground-dwelling species, parrots most often nest in tree hollows. In most species the female incubates the eggs, while the male is feeding her, and after 17-35 days depending of the species, the eggs hatch. The newly-hatched are naked and blind in some parrot species. Like cockatoos, they have long lives, some large species of parrots may live up to 100 years.

Eastern Rosella, Yarra Bend Park, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Pacific
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Types of Parrots in Australia as Pets
Parrots (and cockatoos) are the most intelligent of all birds. They become easily tame if among people, and can imitate all sorts of noises, including peoples’ words. Some parrots have been known to learn to use tools, solve puzzles and count objects, and in a study in Africa a parrot did not only mimic words but learned to understand them, like human kids do. It had a growing vocabulary of about one thousand words and it used them in correct tense and correct content. Because of their affectionate and sociable nature, pretty colours and intelligence, parrots make lovely pets and their wild populations have been threatened by over-trading in many countries. Unless bred in captivity through many generations, the naturally sociable and active parrots would not enjoy a life-long imprisonment in a cage, particularly when alone - so make sure you buy one that has been bred in captivity. Australia banned the export of its native birds in 1960, and penalties for smuggling are heavy.

Australian King Parrot, Dandenong Ranges National Park, Victoria, Australia, Pacific
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Types of Parrots in Australia - Crimson Rosella
There are 39 species of parrots in Australia but here are two strikingly beautiful ones, both so common that you don’t have to leave cities like Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne to come across them. Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) is one of the largest Australian parrots with a red body and blue cheeks, wings and tail. It lives in rainforests, woodland and wet eucalypt forests, urban parks and gardens, and during the summer even above the snow-line in Snowy Mountains. It eats seeds, blossom, nectar, fruits and nuts, and also insects and their larvae. Female lays 4-6 eggs between September and January, and incubates them for 20 days. Some of the many good places to see Crimson Rosellas are Blue Mountains National Park west of Sydney in New South Wales, and Dandenong Ranges and Wilsons Promontory in Victoria.

Crimson Rosella, Dandenong Ranges, Victoria, Australia, Pacific
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Types of Parrots in Australia - Rainbow Lorikeet
Another Australian parrot that is impossible to miss is Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus). It is one of the most beautiful of all Australian parrots, but so common you can see it absolutely everywhere. It has got a green back, a red belly with yellow margins and a blue face with a red beak and red eyes. It lives in coastal rainforests, woodland and urban areas, wherever there are flowering trees. Rainbow Lorikeets can be nomadic because they eat mainly pollen and nectar. They live in life-long couple bonds and female lays 2-3 eggs that hatch after 23 days. Although they are found everywhere, some sure places to see Rainbow Lorikeets are Royal National Park south of Sydney, Jervis Bay further south along the coast of New South Wales, and Litchfield National Park in Northern Territory.

Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus Haematodus), Marramarang National Park, New South Wales, Australia
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Where to See Other Types of Parrots in Australia
There are also some rare parrots, and at least one species of night parrot that is believed to have gone extinct. And there are some endemic ones such as eclectus parrot that you can only see in parts of Cape York peninsula. In many zoo parks, animal sanctuaries and some caravan parks there are daily feedings of parrots and lorikeets where you can get very close to them. In many places they've become half tame and land on your hand or shoulder.
























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