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Night Parrot
Pezoporus occidentalis

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Night Parrot




22 to 25 cm.. length

The Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis) It is one of the most elusive and mysterious world of birds.

They have a bill plane, similar to the of the Kakapo (Strigops habroptila), without the apparent hook of the upper jaw. They have feathers around the cere. The tail is short. The legs are relatively elongated, indicating its good predispositions to walk.

The male and female they are similar.

In adults, the upperparts they are generally yellowish-green with dark brown cryptic spots, black and yellow. The front of the neck is greenish yellow. The chest and flanks they have discreet black and yellow stripes. Belly and coats are bright yellow. The flight feather are pale yellow, forming a thin stripe on the lower part of the wing. The central tail feathers are green with a strong yellowish brown shade. The bill is grey-brown, black eyes. Legs long claws dark grey.

In the wild, the Night Parrot It can be confused with the kakapo Parrot, If not we are looking too details which differentiates them.


The Night Parrot It attends a wide variety of habitats in arid or semi-arid land. They are mainly in places where the herbs grow in clumps on rocky peaks, also in the steppes composed of thickets of quenopodios. They also feel a great attraction for the Rock Samphire (A maritime rhythm), plants that are highly resistant to drought and salt.

They are known to flee to the interior areas of Muehlenbeckia, which have a dense foliage. The most recent reports do not come from the areas of Spinifex. It seems that new techniques of fire used to create firewall, They allow you to create favourable conditions for this parakeet.

The night Parrot almost never fly, except when looking for sources of water. To observe them, What has become extremely rare, We must look to the ground, in areas which consists almost exclusively of grasses of the genus Spinifex.

after dark, They fly a short distance until they find a fresh water pond. Once he has satisfied his thirst, they return to the infeed zone.

There is no certainty about the movements of this parakeet. It can be nomadic, Perhaps sedentary. No doubt depend on the climate and territory who attends them. Formerly, when the number of Night Parrot were still substantial, stocks were fluctuating seasonally.

At the end of the 19th century, in Southern Australia, groups of fifteen individuals were local irruptions, a signal that were sensitive to the favorable climatic conditions or were found in the alternative storage sites whose resources were relatively abundant.

All these considerations must be taken with great moderation for the following reason: the well-established notion that birds move through the Plains Spinifex in the direction of places full of thickets of quenopodios according to seasons and seed resources, not always been confirmed in recent reports.


We know very little about the reproductive habits of this bird. The season of nesting is in July or August. The nest It is a kind of platform built with pieces of wood, on the ground or at low altitude. It is placed in a cavity that has been enlarged and which is accessed by a tunnel whose entrance is in a tuft of grass.. Its diameter is of some 8 centimeters. According to the previous data, the spawning usually contains 4 or 5 eggs. The time of incubation It is unknown.


The Night Parrot mainly consumed seeds of Spinifex (Triodia). Recent and circumstantial reports, indicate also the absorption of deciduous plants family leaves Poaceae as Enneapogon purpurascens.


Size of the area of distribution (reproduction / resident): 26.300 km2

The Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis) are confined in the arid interior of Australia. Samples or reports come from all Australian States, especially in the Center and North of Western Australia (Mount Farmer, Nichol Spring, to the North of Glenayle, South of Kimberleys and to the West of the cue district), Southern Australia (Lake Eyre, to the South of Oodnadatta, Gawler Ranges, the Eyre Peninsula and Coopers Creek), Northern Territory South-Central and North-Western (Mac Donnell Ranges, Tanami desert), and to the southwest of Queensland (Lake Muncoonie and the surrounding areas of Boulia).

There is a report of 1913 that places them around Murrayville and Cowangie, Victoria, and another around of Ross Springs between 1954 and 1959. There is also a register of 1.897 that placed them in District of Oxleand, New South Wales.

The species has never been common, but it was more frequently toward the end of the last century (for example, 16 sightings in the region of the Lake Eyre, Southern Australia, in the decade of 1870). Due to marauding habits, many sightings remain unconfirmed, and this makes it difficult to assess its true condition. Even so, It seems certain that the population is declining. The cause of this is unknown, but it may be related to the introduction of predators such as cats, Rats, dogs or foxes. Changes in fire regimes, as well as the introduction of camels, they have also influenced its decline.

Night Parrot
The Night Parrot seen only as museum specimens for 25 are not extinct. To cat-killed Night Parrot was recovered recently in western Queensland, Australia. (South Australian Museum)

There have been reports in every decade since its discovery, and all states in recent years, except Victoria (the last record was in 1950). The most notable recent sighting was of four birds in the eastern side of the cooper river, to 8 km to the East of the Lake Perigundi, Northeast of Southern Australia, in June of 1979. The birds were arrebolados in tangled shrubs, Sclerolaena intricata and flew away before perederse in the dense forests of Muehlenbeckia florulenta. In 1990 a long dead individual, It was the first specimen in a Museum from the Decade of 1880, was collected in the southwest of Queensland,to 36 km to the North of Boulia. A more recent record of these birds (between March of 1992 and June of 1993) He was picked up in the South of Cloncurry, about 150 km to the North of the area where the dead bird was found, which confirms the local persistence of this species.

The global population is unknown, but it can be very small and is likely to be declining. There are none in captivity.

The Night Parrot has been the subject of a legal protection in Australia since 1937.



• Current category of the Red List of the UICN: Danger

• Population trend: Decreasing

After no record is confirmed from 1990, despite several exhaustive searches and publicity campaigns, This species was rediscovered in 2005 in the region of Pilbara in Western Australia, and a dead juvenile was found in the Diamantina National Park, Queensland in 2006.

It is likely that they have decreased as a result of a series of threats, and the remaining population can be very small and possibly subject to extreme fluctuations.

Based on the records of 2005 and 2006, and because of the shortage of sightings, a Committee of experts concluded that the species was in danger of extinction.

The population of the Night Parrot is supposed to be very small, and is estimated at less of 50 mature individuals based on the scarcity of records. In 2010 a Committee of experts re-evaluó given records of Western Australia in 2005 and Queensland in 2006, and estimated that there could be 50 to 250 birds in total (Garnett et to the. 2011). Therefore, the number of mature individuals is placed in the band of 50-249, but it can become something bigger.

The population It is suspected that it may be in decline due to a combination of threats, including predation by invasive exotic predators.

If a population can be located, the following measures could be introduced:

    • a research and monitoring program
    • control of wild animals in and around the place where the population of the Night Parrot
    • patch burning to limit the possibility, or to prevent the occurrence of fire in the place of the population until better understanding of the situation and the ecological needs of the population
    • minimize disturbance to the population site, which could include leaking information to the public, and the establishment of agreements with landowners and land managers.
    • establish a captive breeding program (Blyth 1996; Garnett and Crowley 2000).

"Night Parrot" in captivity:

There are no records of this bird in captivity.

Alternative names:

Night Parrot (ingles).
Perruche nocturne (French).
Höhlensittich (German).
Periquito-de-barriga-laranja (Portuguese).
Perico Nocturno (español).

scientific classification:

John Gould
John Gould

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittaculidae
Genus: Pezoporus
Scientific name: Pezoporus occidentalis
Citation: (Gould, 1861)
Protonimo: Geopsittacus occidentalis

Images "Night Parrot"

“Night Parrot” (Pezoporus occidentalis)


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

  • Night parakeet photos:

(1) – 1971 painting of a night parrot by William Cooper – Enlace
(2) – The Night Parrot seen only as museum specimens for 25 are not extinct. To cat-killed Night Parrot was recovered recently in western Queensland, Australia. (South Australian Museum) – Top Birding Tours

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