Australian King Parrots

Australian King Parrot Blog

Australian king parrots are also known as green-winged king parrots or Alisterus Scapularis.

They are a large parrot species that is native to Australia. They are commonly seen in the wild as well as being kept as pets.

King Parrot Facts

  • The Australian king parrot was first discovered by Martin Lichtenstein in 1818.
  • They can live for up to 30 years in the wild or if cared for well in captivity.
  • They can mate for life although sometimes they will swap partners.
  • They can typically be seen together in families – a male and female pair with a couple of their babies.

There are 3 types of ‘king parrots

  • Australian
  • Papuan
  • Moluccan

This blog will focus on the Australian variety.

Where to Find Them

Australian king parrots are native to Australia and New Guinea. They are commonly seen in the wild (high in the tree) as well as kept as pets.

They are rarely kept as pets in other countries.

Mostly found in Eastern Australia ranging from places such as Cooktown in Queensland to Port Campbell in Victoria. This includes being found in coastal areas of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

They are typically found in rainforests, parks and farms. They can also be found perched in tree trunks in suburban areas with lots of trees.

Diet

In nature, the Australian king parrot’s diet consists of seeds, fruits, nuts and flowers.

Pet owners typically feed their king parrots a pellet and seed mix. We recommend purchasing high quality food to keep your pet bird healthy. Portion sizes will vary from bird to bird.

Fruit and vegetables can also be given to your pet king parrot. They enjoy carrot, corn, capsicum, broccoli, pumpkin and apple (always remove seeds).

What Do King Parrots Eat?

Nuts can be given to your pet bird occasionally as a treat. Make sure to only give them a very small amount at a time. They like to eat almonds and shelled peanuts. Only ever give your bird unsalted nuts.

Always provide your bird with clean water to drink. Somerzby bird cages all come with large bowls for food and water.

Putting your parrot’s food in foraging toys can help to keep them entertained by mimicking natural foraging behaviours they would display in the wild.

Appearance

Australian king parrots are a large parrot species. They typically grow to be between 40 and 45cm long. They have a long tail.

Like all parrots, they have strong, curved beaks. Their claws have two toes at the front and two toes at the back

They are most distinctive by their very colourful and bright red and dark green feathers, with green head and breast, and they are popular with bird watchers in Australia.

They are most similar in appearance to the crimson rosella. The main difference is that the crimson rosella has blue wings, tail and cheeks.

Male and Female Differences

Australian king parrots are sexually dimorphic. This means that there is an obvious physical difference between the males and females, other than their sex organs.

In Australian king parrots, the males are redder and the females are greener!

A male king parrot will have a red head, neck and chest. They have a bright orange beak.

A male king parrot will have a red head, neck and chest

A female king parrot will have a green head, neck and check. They have a dark grey beak.

Similar to males, the females have red bellies and green backs, wings and tails. Both also have dark grey legs and feet.

Baby king parrots will typically look like females with mostly green features. It can take a couple of years for a male’s red colours to show.

Because of this, young male king parrots are often confused for adult females.

Fun fact: Male king parrots are the only Australian parrot that have a red head!

As Pets

King parrots are commonly found as pets in Australia.

If they are hand raised, king parrots are generally quite calm and friendly. They enjoy interaction with humans but are not particularly affectionate and prefer not to be handled too often. They don’t bond with their human owners as much as other types of parrot do.

They are one of the quieter parrot species although don’t expect them not to make any noise! They will chatter and can make a high-pitched, loud whistle.

They are able to learn to talk although they don’t speak as clearly as some other parrot species.

They are able to learn to talk

If you have decided an Australian king parrot is right for you and would like to buy one, consider bird rescues.

Lots of people decide to buy parrots but are then unable to care for them properly and have to give them up.

If you wish to purchase one from a breeder, try contacting your local parrot and bird clubs first to find out names of reputable breeders.

Parrots can vary from $100-$1,000.

Where ever you decide to get your parrot from, ask lots of questions. Make sure the bird has been cared for well and that you feel comfortable purchasing it.

The rescue group or breeder should also ask you a lot of questions to make sure the bird will be suitable for you and your family.

Fun fact: When breeding they lay their eggs in a deep hollow of a tree trunk on a bed of old sawdust.

Cages

Australian king parrots are a large parrot breed.

If you are keeping one as a pet, they need a large bird cage which provides them plenty of room to spread their wings and exercise.

The more space you are able to provide your pet king parrot, the happier it will be.

If you have your king parrot in a smaller cage, you will need to let them out of the cage daily to exercise.

When letting your king parrot outside of its cage, ensure the area it is allowed in is fully enclosed and safe. If this is inside your home, bird-proof everything.

This includes closing doors and windows, turning off fans and removing any pets that may not get along with your bird.

The Somerzby Bella bird cage has an opening roof that allows your king parrot to sit above its cage and stretch out its wings.

The cage also features a metal pull-out tray so it can easily be cleaned and caster wheels so it can be moved around your home.

Inside your bird’s cage, include plenty of things to keep it stimulated and entertained. King parrots love to climb and swing. They also love to chew on things.

See tips for choosing the right bird cage in our blog by clicking here.

 

Sources:

https://www.waratahsoftware.com.au/wpr-birds-kingparrot.shtml

http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Alisterus-scapularis

https://www.thesprucepets.com/australian-king-parrots-as-pets-390709

https://reptilepark.com.au/animals/birds/king-parrot/  (Only used for images)

https://www.omlet.co.uk/breeds/parrots  (Only used for images)