Parrots & Lorikeets

A large family, with 43 species recorded in Australia, including the extinct Paradise Parrot Psephotellus pulcherrimus, which is the only mainland species of bird to have become extinct since European settlement. Thirty-six of the remaining 42 species are endemic to Australia. Some are widespread in the country, while others have very restricted distributions. The lorikeets have a brush-tipped tongue, while the remainder have a thick, scaly tongue.

Although the origins of the parrot group is still very much in debate, the fact that the majority of the world’s 344 species are found in South America and Australia, as well as Africa, India, New Guinea and New Zealand, there can be no doubt that they originated in Gondwana, a supercontinent of 100 million years ago, that contained each of these countries.

Australia’s smallest parrot is the Double-eyed Fig-Parrot.  The species feeds on native fig seeds along the eastern coast of Australia, from northern New South Wales to Cape York Peninsula, Queensland.  The birds measure only 13 cm in length.

Scientific name: Psittacidae (family)

Australian King Parrot

Australian King Parrot

What does it look and sound like?  The Australian King Parrot is a striking bird. Adult males have an entirely red head, orange bill and pale green shoulder stripe, the female has a dark grey bill and a green head. Where does it live?  It is distributed along the east coast and ranges of Australia. What are its habitats and habits?  Found in wet eucalypt forest, where it feeds on seeds, nectar, fr...
Crimson Rosella

Crimson Rosella

What does it look and sound like?   Although the adult Crimson Rosella is unmistakable in its rich crimson plumage and bright blue cheeks, young birds have caused much confusion.  Most young birds have the characteristic blue cheeks, but the remainder of the plumage is a mixture of greens, reds and blues.  The young bird gradually attains the adult plumage over a period of 15 months.  In adult bir...
Green Rosella

Green Rosella

What does it look like?  This solidly-built parrot is Australia’s largest rosella. More yellow when mature, with a blue throat patch and reddish forehead and face, the red wash extends to below the blue throat patch in the adult female. The wings and tail are dark blue and the back is dark green, each feather with a darker blackish centre. Younger birds are predominantly green.  Where does it liv...
Red-collared Lorikeet

Red-collared Lorikeet

What does it look like?  This large lorikeet is easily recognised by its striking blue head, purplish and orange shoulders, green lower back and wings, bright orange to yellow-orange breast, purplish-blue belly, yellowish-green undertail and base of legs, and orange collar. The orange collar is the main character which distinguishes the Red-collared Lorikeet from the closely-related Rainbow Lorikeet ...
Superb Parrot

Superb Parrot

What does it look like?  Brilliant green, with a long, tapered tail and orange bill. The male has a bright yellow face and throat, bordered with orange below and with an orange wash on the forehead. The female has a bluish tinge to the facial feathers and has orange-red thighs. The wings of both sexes have a blue wash and the underside of the tail is reddish.  Where does it live?  Found in a br...
Turquoise Parrot

Turquoise Parrot

  What does it look and sound like?  This small parrot shows strong sexual dimorphism. The male has a turquoise head, yellow underparts and an olive-green back. While the median, outer lesser wing-coverts and secondary-coverts are turquoise blue with the innermost median coverts chestnut red, appearing as a band running down the shoulders when not in flight. The female lacks the chestnut wing patch a...