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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 | Video 3

More Information:

Avibase
Birds in Backyards
Handbook of the Birds of the World

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

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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