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Ground Parrot

 (Pezoporus wallicus)

Also known as: Swamp Parrot, Buttongrass Parrot

Click photo to visit gallery

Western Ground Parrot in shrubs
© Brent Barrett

Did You Know?

Ground parrots will tend to occupy their favourite habitats (heathland) one year after fire has been through, begin nesting in 4 years, are at peak densities (populations) between 8 to 10 years and then decline, with total abandonment of an area after 20 years.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pezoporus wallicus

Species Profile

Genus: Pezoporus | Species: wallicus

Size:

30cm (11.7 in)

Weight:

68-83g (2.4-3 oz)

Races including nominate:

two: P.w. wallicus, P.w. flaviventris

Colourization Adult:

Slim, bright green parrot with long tail and red frontal band. 
P.w. wallicus: Male-bright green dotted with black and yellow; orange/red frontal band; green cheeks, ear coverts and throat all the way down to the breast, with black streaking on the feathers; abdomen to flanks and undertail coverts green/yellow, barred across black/brown; pale yellow spot on primary feathers and two spots on secondary feathers which form stripes; tail green barred with yellow and brown/black.  Bill brown/grey, eye yellow.  Female-as in male but with black shaft streaking to feathers of cheeks, ear coverts and throat to the breast.           
P.w. flaviventris: Both adults as in wallicus but abdomen green/yellow with faint, interrupted green/brown barring.

Colourization Juvenile:

As in adults but duller yellow/green with orange frontal band absent; feathers of cheeks, ear coverts and throat to breast black in centre. Tail shorter. Eye brown.

Call:

Calls before dawn and after sunset, with three or four bell sounding notes followed by sharper notes on ascending scale and terminating with drawn-out note.

Video Links:

Video 1 | Video 2

More Information:

Lexicon of Parrots
Birds in Backyards

Article "Habitat and potential diet of the Ground Parrot in Tasmania"

Content Sources:

Click photo to visit gallery

Western Ground Parrot in shrubs
© Brent Barrett

Did You Know?

Ground parrots will tend to occupy their favourite habitats (heathland) one year after fire has been through, begin nesting in 4 years, are at peak densities (populations) between 8 to 10 years and then decline, with total abandonment of an area after 20 years.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pezoporus wallicus

Species Care

Captive Status:

Not found in captivity outside of Australia.

Longevity:

Not available

Housing:

Spacious outdoor flight (in warm climates).

Diet:

Seed mix of grasses and millets, canary grass seed, some oats, niger; wild bird food, weed seeds and hemp; millet sprays; greens (chickweed, thistle, dandelion, kale); soft foods such as eggs and insects for rearing.

Enrichment:

Not available

Nest Box Size:

Not available

Clutch Size:

2 to 6

Incubation Time:

About 21 days.

Fledging Age:

20-28 days

Hatch Weight:

Not available

Peak Weight:

Not available

Weaning Weight:

Not available

Click photo to visit gallery

Western Ground Parrot in shrubs
© Brent Barrett

Did You Know?

Ground parrots will tend to occupy their favourite habitats (heathland) one year after fire has been through, begin nesting in 4 years, are at peak densities (populations) between 8 to 10 years and then decline, with total abandonment of an area after 20 years.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pezoporus wallicus

Species Wild Status

World Population:

Latest estimates 2000-5000 individuals

IUCN Red List Status:

Least Concern

CITES Listing:

Appendix I

Threat Summary:

Loss of habitat through urban development or agricultural development, therefore range fragmented.

Range:

P.w. wallicus: Scattered along coastal SE Australia from Fraser Island and Maryborough district in SE Queensland, south to S Victoria and possibly SE S Australia; also Tasmania, Hunter Island and formerly Flinders Island in Bass Strait.
P.w. flaviventris: Scattered in two populations along southern coast of W Australia from Bow River east to West River and Fizgerald River National Park, and from Alexander Bay east to Cape Arid. Formerly north along western coastline to near Perth.

Habitat:

Found in both heathland and sedgeland; temperate and subtropical shrubby heath with thick cover.

Wild Diet:

Feed on a variety of seeds (up to 40 species of plants), leaves, shoots and small insects.

Ecology and Behaviour:

Mainly sedentary and live in pairs, protecting their territories. Is active through the day with peak periods at dawn, mid-morning and late afternoon. Feeds on the ground.

Clutch and Egg Size:

2 to 6 slightly spherical eggs, 28.0 x 22.0mm (1.1 x 0.8 in).

Breeding Season:

July in north-east, August in west and formerly October in Tasmania.

Related Links:

Wikipedia
Research: Variation in vocalisations of the Ground Parrot at its northern range
Research: Low genetic diversity in the Ground Parrot revealed by randomly amplified DNA fingerprinting
Article "New parrot species on the edge of extinction", by Victorie Laurie, Australian Geographic

Click photo to visit gallery

Western Ground Parrot in shrubs
© Brent Barrett

Did You Know?

Ground parrots will tend to occupy their favourite habitats (heathland) one year after fire has been through, begin nesting in 4 years, are at peak densities (populations) between 8 to 10 years and then decline, with total abandonment of an area after 20 years.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pezoporus wallicus

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