Norfolk Island Green Parrot

Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae cookii

The Norfolk Island Green Parrot (a subspecies of the Red-fronted Parakeet), is an endemic bird. Like its congeners elsewhere in the South Pacific, it is primarily green with a blue leading edge to the wings but having a red crown and spot behind the eye. At the time of the first British settlement, they were described as being in destructive plagues of very large flocks that wreaked havoc with planted crops. However by the late 1980’s there were reported to be only 32 birds comprising four breeding pairs. Numbers have fluctuated to a few hundred and then back to less than a 100 since. Recent declines have been attributed to nest predation by rats and competition for hollows from the introduced Crimson Rosella, starling and honey bees. A nest monitoring and banding program is underway while a captive breeding program has been established with the hope of reintroducing the birds to Phillip Island. The current estimate of the population is around 400 birds. This parrot primarily occurs in the remnant Norfolk Island Pine tall closed rainforest of the national park as well as in other native vegetation, eucalypt plantations and areas adjacent to native forest. They primarily eat seeds, fruits, flowers and leaves of native and introduced trees and shrubs, including the pine, Ironwood, Norfolk Island Palm and Tea Tree.