Australian King Parrot
The Australian King Parrot, a wild bird who is often kept as a sweet, tame pet, is a common sight in parks or gardens in suburban Australia. In the wild, Australian King Parrots prefer to feed in treetops, but sometimes are found on the ground.
They are seen in pairs or small flocks and frequent wooded areas, parks, gardens and rainforests. Wild Australian King Parrots build their nests in eucalyptus trees and line them with chewed wood shavings. Australian King Parrots encountered in the wild are often quite shy. Generally, Australian King Parrots eat nuts and seeds, fruits and berries, nectar and buds. If you wish to keep an Australian King Parrot but are pressed for space, you may house them in cages with dimensions of about 600 millimeters x 600 millimeters x 800 millimeters.
If you do this you MUST exercise your bird frequently and well. Australian King Parrots will thrive in outdoor, sheltered aviaries of about one and a half meters by five and a half meters by one and four fifths meters. As with all birds, a private nest box is essential for sleeping or hiding under moments of stress.
They need fresh water at all times and shelter from cold and wet weather. Because of their social, active nature, Australian King Parrots do well when kept in pairs and will tolerate Pheasants; Indian Ringnecks; Alexandrines; and Superb, Regent, Crimson-winged and Eclectus Parrots. Australian King Parrots should be offered a variety of fruits, legumes, and vegetables in addition to a basic seed mix and a variety of treats like nuts. They make adorable, playful friends who have eye-catching coloration.
Generally, growing to a length of about 425 millimeters, Australian King Parrots are colored by sex. Both sexes have striking coloration with many bright colors. Males have a bright red and orange coloration over their head, neck, and undersides. Their back and wings are a lovely bright green. The rump, tail, and lower back are all a contrasting blue and the nape sports a narrow blue band. The eyes are yellow.
Male Australian King Parrots have scarlet mandibles with black tips. Their legs and feet are gray, as they are in females also. The mandible in females matches the gray leg coloration. Female Australian King Parrots are much like the male in coloration except for their heads and upper tails, which are a dark green color. The throat and chest are a bit different as well. These are green in females and have red hints all along the upper throat area. The central tail feathers of both sexes are black.
Australian King Parrots are native to eastern Australia. They were first officially recognized by Lichtenstein in 1818. Today, their natural habitat has been largely replaced with farmland and townships. Australian King Parrots are a fixture in suburban greenswards. They will, however, destroy crops like corn in addition to orchards and are often considered by farmers to be a pest. Australian King Parrots are also called Green Parrots, Eastern King Parrots, Queensland King Parrots, King Lories or Scarlet Parrots. As always, captive-bred birds make much better pets than wild-caught birds.
Australian King Parrots should be offered a variety of fruits, legumes, and vegetables in addition to a basic seed mix and a variety of treats like nuts. They need fresh water at all times and shelter from cold and wet weather. Australian King Parrots do not thrive in very small or confined or indoor cages. They will flourish in outdoor aviaries so long as they have plenty of shelter from the elements.
Australian King Parrots have been crossed with Regent Parrots, Crimson-winged Parrots, and Superb Parrots. In the wild, they breed from July to January and have nests in hollow trees. The entrances are usually quite near the ground. In captivity, nesting boxes or roomy hollow logs will do. The best nesting material for Australian King Parrots seems to be wood shavings mixed with peat moss. Australian King Parrots strut, preen, and call to court their hens in the wild.
In return, the hen will accept his regurgitated food by bobbing her head and generally imitating his motions. Australian King Parrots’ clutches usually consist of three to five elliptical, slightly glossy eggs. The parents tend to be clumsy and often break the eggs. Tilting the nesting box will help them to avoid these accidents. The eggs incubate for around 20 days, and the male attends his hen for the duration although she does the entire sitting. Australian King Parrots fledge at around 35 days and the cock will help raise the young and teach them to fly.
Immature Australian King Parrots resemble the females in coloration until six months of age. At this point, the males’ heads will begin to turn red and adult plumage will be acquired at around 16 months. It will be another 14 months before he is fully colored and he will not mate until he is around three years old. Female Australian King Parrots may be sexually mature at one year of age. Immature Parrots will flock together over the winter months.