Friday, August 17, 2012

Australian King Parrot Alisterus scapularis

A local solitary male Australian King Parrot.
© Photo taken by Daniel C. Hardy
about 2008 - 2010.
There are a small flock of Australian King Parrots that I believe live in Tenterfield. They are sighted daily feeding in my neighbour Carol's garden at the bird feeder. I am not sure if any of the birds in the video below are breeding pairs.

There used to be large numbers of King Parrots in Tenterfield some 8 years ago but then the rain stopped falling and the environment began to dry out and most of them left. A few years ago some of the King Parrots returned despite the ongoing drought and have since stayed in Tenterfield.

The males are predominantly red and green with a red head whereas the females are green and red. The females are slightly smaller than the males and are more shy and more easily scared off if approached by a human. Australian King Parrots are about 41 - 43cms in length and are one of the bird species consistently spotted in Tenterfield, especially seen in the late afternoon prior to roosting in tall trees.

The Rotunda at Jubilee Park
You often see these birds at Jubilee Park feeding on tree seeds that have fallen to the ground in Summer. You can safely get 12 feet from the male Australian King Parrots without them flying off at Jubilee Park. If these birds are spotted at bird feeders, you can safely get 6 feet from these birds, only if you walk slowly toward them. Some of the local male King Parrots do not seem to mind humans taking photos of them, and seem to pose for the camera. King Parrots seem to enjoy the company of humans, especially solitary ones who don't have a mate yet. Males of this species are more commonly sighted than females due to a lack of large numbers of breeding pairs in the area.


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