Thursday, January 10, 2013

MEGAFAUNA - A larger than normal male Australian King Parrot


The female is on the left, male on the right. I only had one opportunity to
take a video or photos of this male. I opted for taking a video of him.

MEGAFAUNA MEANS REALLY LARGE. However, it seems that some species of birds are getting larger and during the month of December 2012 I have seen 3 individuals of 3 separate species that are larger than normal. This post is about my second sighting - of a large male Australian King Parrot.

On the 19th December 2012 at 7:53AM two Australian King Parrots landed in my neighbour Carol's bird feeder. I recognised the female as the daughter of the mated pair in Tenterfield. There are a total of 4 Australian King Parrots in Tenterfield now - a mum and dad, a daughter and a son. (As of today - 10th January 2013 there are none as the children have left the parents and are finding mates of their own or are probably nesting with their new mates.) All Australian King Parrots photos and videos I have, until the 19th December 2012 are of this particular family and of the generations before them. They all have been the standard size for a King Parrot, no larger than about 41 - 43cms in length.

However, when I first saw the male I was gobsmacked at the size of him. My mouth dropped at seeing him as Australian King Parrots are not supposed to be this large. He was at least 10-15cms longer than the female and was very lean. The female was fully grown and a standard size (roughly 42cm long) for a King Parrot. This bird was at least 55cm in length, if not more.

The male King Parrot was obviously not from Tenterfield rather from a nearby area close to Tenterfield. From whence he came I do not know. All I know is the male was huge bordering on the size of much larger Cockatoos. In all my time living in Tenterfield I have become familiar with the maximum size a King Parrots grows to. But seeing this male has made me think. It has made me think that Australian King Parrots can grow to much larger sizes perhaps in just a few generations.

What made the female choose this large male is anyone's guess. Maybe he was the only male around that wasn't taken? Maybe the female chose him because he was a larger than normal bird? Maybe the birds know something we humans don't and are chosing to mate with larger birds of their own species to help survive better in their environment.

The most interesting thing to see will be the offspring of these two birds. In time, hopefully, the parents will return to the area with their offspring.

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