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Australian King Parrot

 (Alisterus scapularis)

Also known as: King Parrot, Eastern King Parrot, Queensland King Parrot, King Parakeet, King Lory, Red Lory, Scarlet and Green Parrot, Blood Rosella

Click photo to visit gallery

Australian King Parrot
© Tom Turrant | www.aviceda.org/abid/

Did You Know?

The Australian King Parrot acquires its adult plumage by a slow moult, which begins when the bird is over fifteen months old and is not completed for a further twelve months.

Academic Research

Related publications: Alisterus scapularis

Species Profile

Genus: Alisterus | Species: scapularis

Size:

43cm (16.8 in)

Weight:

195-275g (6.8 x 9.6 oz)

Races including nominate:

two: A.s. scapularis, A.s. minor

Colourization Adult:

A.s. scapularis: Male-red head, neck and underparts; hindneck has blue band; back and wings dark green; wing has silver/green band when folded; blue lower back and rump; tail black tinged with blue. Upper mandible orange/red with black tip, lower mandible black with orange base. Eye yellow. Female-green head and upperparts; red lower breast down to abdomen; silver/green on wing minimal or absent; dark green tail with pink at tip. Bill grey.
A.s. minor: Both adults as in scapularis, but smaller in size.

Colourization Juvenile:

A.s. scapularis: As in adult female but lower breast green. Bill dull yellow.

Call:

Calls in flight are shrill and somewhat loud. When alarmed harsh and metallic shrieking. Males give high-pitched flute-like notes when perched.

Listen Now

Video Links:

Video 1 | Video 2

More Information:

AvianWeb

Content Sources:

CITES
BirdLife International
Internet Bird Collection
ML Collection Catalogue 78592 Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis), Robbins, Mark, New South Wales, Australia, Jun. 29, 1992, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Site
Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World, Juniper and Parr, 1998
Parrots of the World, Forshaw and Cooper, 1977. 2010 issue
Parrots of the World, Forshaw, 2006.
Parrots in Aviculture, Low, 1992.
Psittacine Aviculture, Schubot, Clubb and Clubb, 1992.
Parrots: Their Care and Breeding, Low, 1986.

Click photo to visit gallery

Australian King Parrot
© Tom Turrant | www.aviceda.org/abid/

Did You Know?

The Australian King Parrot acquires its adult plumage by a slow moult, which begins when the bird is over fifteen months old and is not completed for a further twelve months.

Academic Research

Related publications: Alisterus scapularis

Species Care

Captive Status:

Fairly common in Australia, less so elsewhere.

Longevity:

Not available

Housing:

Walk-in enclosure, minimum length 3m (9.8 ft).

Diet:

Small seed mix such as: canary, oats, safflower and a bit of hemp; spray millet; limited sunflower seed, dry, soaked or sprouted; sprouted or cooked beans and pulses; boiled maize; green leaves such as: Swiss chard, lettuce, sowthistle, dandelion, chickweed; vegetables such as: carrot, celery, zucchini, squash, green beans and peas in the pod; fruit such as: apple, pear, banana, cactus fruits, oranges; nuts such as: lightly cracked hazelnuts, pecans and roasted peanuts; complete pellet.

Enrichment:

Not available

Nest Box Size:

Nest box or nesting log.

Clutch Size:

3-6

Incubation Time:

20 days

Fledging Age:

5 weeks

Hatch Weight:

10g (0.35 oz)

Peak Weight:

171-247g (6.0-8.6 oz)

Weaning Weight:

172-192g (6.0-6.7 oz)

Click photo to visit gallery

Australian King Parrot
© Tom Turrant | www.aviceda.org/abid/

Did You Know?

The Australian King Parrot acquires its adult plumage by a slow moult, which begins when the bird is over fifteen months old and is not completed for a further twelve months.

Academic Research

Related publications: Alisterus scapularis

Species Wild Status

World Population:

>50,000

IUCN Red List Status:

Least Concern

CITES Listing:

Appendix II

Threat Summary:

Population appears stable but may have been affected by the wild bird trade and habitat loss to some degree.

Range:

A.s. scapularis: SE coast and CE mainland Australia.
A.s. minor: NE Australia.

Habitat:

Occurs up to 1625m (5330 ft). Found in variety of habitats from high forested areas to lower more open spaces. During the breeding season birds are found in more dense forest such as wet sclerophyll forest, gullies, Eucalyptus woodland and savanna woodland bordering with riverine forest. Also, outside of breeding season they are found in cultivated lands, parks, orchards and sometimes gardens.

Wild Diet:

Eats fruits, flowers, berries, nuts, seeds, insect larvae, buds and other vegetation. A favourite is mistletoe Viscum album. May take some crops.

Ecology and Behaviour:

Are seasonally nomadic to a degree. Usually found in pairs or small groups, or post-breeding flocks of up to 50 individuals. Conspicuous when not feeding, when eating wary and quiet. Gather in groups to feed in morning, then sit quietly through the heat of the day, becoming active again in late afternoon.

Clutch and Egg Size:

3-6 rounded eggs, 33.0 x 27.0mm (1.3 x 1.0 in)

Breeding Season:

September-February

Related Links:

Wikipedia
Birds in Backyards
Research: Spironucleosis in Australian King Parrots

Click photo to visit gallery

Australian King Parrot
© Tom Turrant | www.aviceda.org/abid/

Did You Know?

The Australian King Parrot acquires its adult plumage by a slow moult, which begins when the bird is over fifteen months old and is not completed for a further twelve months.

Academic Research

Related publications: Alisterus scapularis

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