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Australian King-Parrot
Alisterus scapularis

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Australian King-Parrot




39-43 cm.. length between 195 and 275 g. of weight.

The Australian King-Parrot (Alisterus scapularis) is very similar to the Moluccan King-Parrot, but larger.

It has the head and bright Scarlet underparts, with the exception of the coverts black infracaudales, with large red tips. Narrow rear necklace with mixture of the dark blue to dark green of the mantle (mantle feathers fringed even darker); lower back and rump, dark blue. Pale necklaces, slightly greenish-blue, forming a distinctive 'brace'; green wing coverts, and green flight feathers with vane blackish internal. Under, feathers dark green bathed in blue wing. Upper, Black tail with a light blue bathroom in the vane external side feathers; undertail, black tail.

Bright coral red beak, with black tips; iris yellow ; grey legs.

Strong dimorphism in female, with the Crown and green upper parts (including supracaudales coverts and tail, but not the Croup which is a lighter blue than in males). The face and the chest are coloured green opaque with a reddish spread warm. Females may occasionally show some pale necklaces. The infracaudales coverts are green, very red-tipped. The Central tail feathers are green, the lateral blackish with narrow pink tips.

The peak is a blackish brown dark.

The immature birds are like females, but with a pale beak and dark iris.

Younger females are less red below. Males get the adult plumage during a slow change that starts around of the 16 months, and continue for others 14 to 15 months.

Subspecies Alisterus scapularis

  • Alisterus scapularis minor

    Mathews, 1911 – Same as the nominal species, but smaller.

  • Alisterus scapularis scapularis

    (Lichtenstein, 1816) – The nominal


Australian King-Parrot

The Australian King-Parrot disperse, regularly, after the breeding season, in wooded areas, reaching altitudes of 1.625 m, Although rarely seen on top of the 1.200 m, from where come down to more open habitats; they have seen other apparently climate-related movements. They can travel moderate distance; a ringed bird was recovered to 270 kilometers from their place of origin.

During the breeding season, they are often found in dense forests (sclerophyllous forest wet), wooded streams and associated habitats, including more open eucalyptus forests and savannahs bordering riparian forests.

Outside the breeding season, they are in a wider variety of habitats, including the cultivated areas, parks, orchards and occasionally suburban gardens.

They are usually in pairs or small groups, although subsequent flocks of immatures may form groups of up to 50 or more birds. The Australian King-Parrot, often, they sit in a visible way on high exposed branches. When feed, However, the birds are still cautious and fairly quiet. They gather to feed early in the morning, sometimes in mixed groups with Rosella parakeets and other parrots. They remain silent during the hottest part of the day, to re-enable the afternoon.

Noisy flocks, often, they might be returning to the roosts at night.


During courtship, males move head, the wings and inflate their feathers; the female responds with Wiggles head, and asking for food. The breeding season extends from September to February. The nest is a hollow in a tree dead or alive (often a large eucalyptus with hollow tips). The entrance of the nest is usually at a certain height. Between three and six (usually four) eggs are deposited in a deep hollow on a bed of wood dust. The female incubates alone during 20 days, with the male nearby to provide her with food.

The young remain in the nest during 5 weeks, after which they leave the nest and remain with their parents.


The diet consists of fruit, berries, nuts, seeds, insect larvae, flowers, outbreaks and other vegetable materials. The species is also fond of mistletoe VISCUM album, eucalyptus and acacia trees. It can cause damage in orchards and fields, usually in search of potato, corn and other crops.

When feed, They argue the food with their legs, and extract with its beak. If you bother, These parrots flying quickly to hide, but they can become tame in some inhabited areas.


The Australian King-Parrot is distributed along the East coast of Australia, in the interior of the western slopes of the Great dividing range, extending from Cooktown in the North of Queensland, to the South, the District of Atherton, then through Eungella, Blackall, MooNiE and in New South Wales, where it reaches inside approximately in Bingara, Mudgee and Albury. In Victoria is limited to the South-East, being Portland its southwestern border.

It is common in Canberra, especially during autumn and winter, and birds Getaways, occasionally seen in adelaide, along the murray river and in the West of Victoria.

The species can also be seen in Fraser, Stradbroke and Broughton Islands.

The world's population is considered that it is far superior to 50.000 specimens and stable, although they may have been affected by trade and to some degree habitat loss.

Distribution subspecies Alisterus scapularis



• Current category of the Red List of the UICN: Least concern

• Population trend: Decreasing

The size of the world's population has not been quantified, Although it is estimated above 50,000 specimens.

The species, according to sources, is usually common, but may be declining due to deforestation and the destruction of their habitat in course (pit et to the. 1997).

"Australian King-Parrot" in captivity:

Fairly common in Australia, not so much in other places.

Sweet disposition, tame; will tolerate other species outside of breeding season.

Alternative names:

Australian King-Parrot, Australian King Parrot, Blood Rosella, King Lory, King Parakeet, King Parrot, King-Red Lory, Queensland King-Parrot, Scarlet-and-Green Parrot, Southern King-Parrot, Spud Parrot (ingles).
Perruche royale (French).
Königssittich, Königsittich (German).
Periquito-rei-australiano (Portuguese).
Papagayo Australiano, Papagayo Real Australiano (español).

scientific classification:

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittaculidae
Genus: Alisterus
Scientific name: Alisterus scapularis
Citation: (Lichtenstein, MHC, 1816)
Protonimo: Psittacus scapularis

Images “Australian King-Parrot”:

Videos "Australian King-Parrot"


“Australian King-Parrot” (Alisterus scapularis)


– Parrots of the World – Forshaw Joseph M
– Parrots A Guide to the Parrots of the World – Tony Juniper & Mike Parr
– Birdlife


(1) – “Alisterus scapularis (male) -Bunya Mountains-8” by Arthur Chapman – originally posted to Flickr as Alisterus scapularis (Australian King Parrot). Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
(2) – By Andy (originally posted to Flickr as King Parrot Couple) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(3) – By Geoff Penaluna from Australia (Female King parrotUploaded by snowmanradio) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(4) – By Jan from Singapore, Singapore [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(5) – “Alisterus scapularis-Commonwealth Park, Canberra, Australia-male-8” by Duncan McCaskill – Picasa Web Albums. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
(6) – HBW Alive – hbw

Sounds: Diego Caiafa (Xeno-canto)

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