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Night Parrot

 (Pezoporus occidentalis)

Also known as: Spinifex Parrot, Nocturnal Ground Parrot

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Night Parrot
© Martin Thompson, Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

The Night Parrot was presumed extinct until it was rediscovered in 1979, when four birds were seen in northern S Australia. It was then not seen again until 1990, then 2005.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pezoporus occidentalis

Species Profile

Genus: Pezoporus | Species: occidentalis

Size:

23cm (9 in)

Weight:

Not available

Races including nominate:

one

Colourization Adult:

Both adults yellow/green in colour mottled with dark brown, black and yellow; yellow/green foreneck, breast and flanks with black and yellow barring; bright yellow abdomen and undertail coverts; pale yellow on flight feathers forming underwing stripe; dark brown tail barred with yellow. Bill grey/brown. Eye black.

Colourization Juvenile:

Reported to be duller than adults with yellow on throat and neck.

Call:

Calls are described as low, two-note whistle when alighting at water source at night; emits squeak when startled, and strange croaking note when alarmed.

Listen Now

Video Links:

Video 1

More Information:

Avibase
Bush Heritage Australia
Handbook of the Birds of the World
Article - Night parrot sighting in Western Australia shocks the birdwatching world

Content Sources:

Click photo to visit gallery

Night Parrot
© Martin Thompson, Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

The Night Parrot was presumed extinct until it was rediscovered in 1979, when four birds were seen in northern S Australia. It was then not seen again until 1990, then 2005.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pezoporus occidentalis

Species Care

Captive Status:

Not usually seen in aviculture.

Longevity:

Not available

Housing:

Large, planted aviary with grass and bushes.

Diet:

Seed mix such as: grass, millet, canary, oats and niger, wild bird food, weed seeds and hemp; small amounts of sunflower; green leaves such as: Swiss chard, lettuce, dandelion, chickweed, sowthistle; eggfood and soft insect food.

Enrichment:

Not available

Nest Box Size:

Not available

Clutch Size:

4-5

Incubation Time:

Not available

Fledging Age:

Not available

Hatch Weight:

Not available

Peak Weight:

Not available

Weaning Weight:

Not available

Click photo to visit gallery

Night Parrot
© Martin Thompson, Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

The Night Parrot was presumed extinct until it was rediscovered in 1979, when four birds were seen in northern S Australia. It was then not seen again until 1990, then 2005.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pezoporus occidentalis

Species Wild Status

World Population:

50-249, decreasing.

IUCN Red List Status:

Endangered

CITES Listing:

Appendix I

Threat Summary:

Historically, it appears that this species was affected by predation, mainly by feral cats, which remain a threat. The main threat currently is the destruction of their habitat.

Range:

Seen in scattered areas in arid interior of mainland Australia; recent reports from W Queensland.

Habitat:

Found in areas that are a combination of samphire flats with nearby lake systems and Spinifex sandplains. Also seen in mulga and saltbush habitats, with large freshwater pools, rocky areas with Spinifex, margins of salt lakes and grassy areas.

Wild Diet:

Seeds of Spinifex and various grasses; succulents for water. May take fruits and green shoots of chenopods.

Ecology and Behaviour:

Usually solitary, active and ground dwelling; by day hides quietly in Spinifex vegetation where it is difficult to spot. Becomes active after dusk, where at least one bird was tracked flying up to 7km to foraging areas. There is evidence that they obtain moisture from succulents like Sclerolaena sp. May be sedentary in areas of favourable habitat.

Clutch and Egg Size:

4-5 eggs, 25.0 x 19.5mm (1.0 x 0.8 in).

Breeding Season:

April - June

Related Links:

Wikipedia
Article "Night Parrot find causes controversy in Australia"
Australian Gov't Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Click photo to visit gallery

Night Parrot
© Martin Thompson, Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

The Night Parrot was presumed extinct until it was rediscovered in 1979, when four birds were seen in northern S Australia. It was then not seen again until 1990, then 2005.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pezoporus occidentalis

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