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Bourke’s parrot

Scientific Name: Neopsephotus bourkii

Bourke’s parrots are small members of the parrot family and the only member of the Neopsephotus genus. They are named after the previous governor of the state of New South Wales, General Sir Richard Bourke. The back and wings are mainly brown in colour with blue markings on the underside of the wings and head. The breast and abdomen of the Bourke’s parrot is pink. Females have less distinct pink and blue colouration than the males.

Found normally in groups of between four and six individuals, Bourke’s parrots have been known to form flocks of over 100 birds in drought conditions.

These parrots usually breed between August and December when there is high food availability, but this is dependent on rainfall. Nests are typically built in tree hollows between one and three metres above the ground. Whilst the female attends the eggs, the male will collect food for her. Both parents feed the hatchlings. The chicks fledge around four weeks after hatching.

Bourke’s parrots eat mainly seeds and also some grass shoots. They will fly to the ground to feed or use nearby bushes. Feeding usually occurs around dawn and dusk to avoid the hottest part of the day.

These parrots are classed as Least Concern as the population is currently rising due to habitat change creating suitable habitat for them. Historical introductions of cats, rabbits and sheep to their range have reduced the population size due to predation and over grazing of scrubland.

Key Facts:

  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Distribution: Australia
  • Habitat: Scrublands
  • Diet: Grasses, Seeds
  • Weight: 39g
  • No. of young: 3 – 6
  • Life Span: 12 years