Australian King-Parrot (Alisterus
The male King Parrot has a brilliant scarlet head and underparts, with vivid green back and wings. The tail is an irridescent deep-blue in colour. The female has a dull green head and throat with mottled orange/green chest & orange belly.
The birds live in thickly treed coastal or mountain forests, feeding in the canopy on seeds, berries and blossoms. After nesting King-Parrots often move to farmlands, shelter belts, parks and gardens. During courtship, the birds fluff out their head feathers, flatten their body feathers and eye-blaze. Like most parrots, they pair for life. Nesting time is from September to January and usually in a tall, hollow-trunked eucalypt with the entrance ten to twenty metres above the ground. The actual nest site often being quite a distance down into the hollow, sometimes seven metres down. Preferred sites are in dense forest and seldom far from water. Clutch of 4-6 eggs are laid and are incubated solely by the female. Both parents feed the young which fly at about 5 weeks.
The number of King-Parrots seen in locally has increased over the past few years. Possibly because food is readily available in most mature gardens, more of these birds survive the winter. Perhaps too, more people are providing food for parrots. Groups of three to five birds are usually seen at a time.
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