King Parrot

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image: KingParrot.jpg

Common Name: King Parrot
Scientific Name: Alisterus scapularis

Size: 10 to 12 inches (25-30 cm)

Habitat: Australia; found along the east coast and ranges of Australia, ranging from Cooktown in Queensland through to Port Campbell in Victoria. Found in humid and heavily forested upland regions of the eastern portion of the continent, including eucalyptus wooded areas in and directly adjacent to subtropical and temperate rainforest.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: Unknown. The King-Parrot appears to be increasing in abundance in well-treed suburbs. In urban areas it feeds at artificial feeding stations and fruiting trees.

Diet: Forages in trees for seeds and fruit.

Breeding: Males are the only Australian parrots with a completely red head. Females are similar to males except that they have a completely green head and breast. Both sexes have a red belly and a green back, with green wings and a long green tail. King parrots are normally encountered in pairs or family groups. They lay their eggs on a bed of decayed wood-dust at the bottom of a deep hollow in the trunk of a tree. Often the entrance is high in the tree (10 m) but the eggs are near the ground (0.5 m).

Cool Facts: They are frequently seen in small groups with various species of Rosella.

They are occasionally bred in aviaries and kept as calm and relatively quiet household pets if hand-raised, but are relatively unknown outside Australia. As pets, they have limited "talking" ability and normally prefer not to be handled, but do bond readily to people and can be very devoted. Life expectancy in the wild is unknown, but some pets have been known to live up to 25 years. However, some King Parrots are known to develop lung diseases as a result of living indoors as household pets.

Found in Songbird ReMix Australia Volume III

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