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GALLERIES > BIRDS > PSITTACIFORMES > PSITTACIDAE > GOLDEN-SHOULDERED PARROT [Psephotus chrysopterygius]


Golden-shouldered Parrot Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Golden-shouldered Parrot (Psephotus chrysopterygius) is a rare bird of southern Cape York Peninsula, in Queensland, Australia. A small attractive parrot related to the more common Red-rumped Parrot, it is considered to be a superspecies with the Hooded Parrot (P. dissimilis) of the Northern Territory and the apparently extinct Paradise Parrot of Queensland and New South Wales. It is 23"?28 cm long and weighs 54"?56 g.

Description

The Golden-shouldered Parrot is 23"?28 cm long. The adult male is mainly blue and has a characteristic yellow over the shoulder area. It has a black cap and pale yellow frontal band. It has a pinkish lower belly, thighs and undertail-coverts. It has a Grey-brown lower back. Adult female are mainly dull greenish-yellow, and have a broad cream bar on the underside of the wings. Juveniles are similar to the adult female.

Habitat

The Golden-shouldered Parrot lives in open forest, where it feeds on small grass seeds, principally those of firegrass. An important habitat requirement is the provision of terrestrial termite mounds, which the bird uses for nesting in. This has led to the parrot also being known as the Antbed Parrot.

Breeding

The Golden-shouldered Parrot will build a nest in the taller termite mounds (up to 2 m high), and will dig a burrow into them when the mound has been softened by the rains. A long tunnel is dug down into the mound, and capped off by a nesting chamber. The clutch size is between 3"?6 eggs, which are incubated for 20 days. The mound regulates the temperature of the nest in the chamber, so that the eggs can be left unattended while the parents feed.

Status

The Golden-shouldered Parrot is listed as endangered (CITES I). The species has a restricted range and suffers from a variety of threats, including predation by feral cats, tourist disturbance, feral pigs, and a change in burning regime in the grasslands upon whose seeds it depends. The wild population is around 3000 birds, with around 1500 kept in captivity in Australia.

Gallery

Male Golden-Shouldered Parrot in an aviary at the Queensland Museum. (photo 2004)

Male and female Golden-shouldered Parrots in an aviary at the Queensland Museum (photo 2004)

Male and female Golden-shouldered Parrots in an aviary at the Queensland Museum (photo 2004)





                                     



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