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Blue Bonnet

(Northiella haematogaster)
Alternate name(s): "Greater Blue Bonnet", "Crimson-bellied Parrot", "Yellow-vented Parakeet", "Bulloak Parrot", "Red-bellied Blue Bonnet", "Naretha Parrot", "Red-vented Blue Bonnet"
Aboriginal name(s): Race "haematorrhous": "bulaybulay" [yuwaalaraay]

Size: 27-34 cm
Weight: 50-100 g
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Blue Bonnet at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information


Not the photos you want? Or are you after even better quality? Have a look here .

Race "haematogaster"



Two male Blue Bonnets perched in a dead tree (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Bowra Station, near Cunnamulla, QLD, September 2017]

Near-dorsal view of a male Blue Bonnet (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Bowra Station, near Cunnamulla, QLD, September 2017]


Pair of Blue Bonnets perched on a fence; female on the left, male on the right (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Lake Albacutya, VIC, October 2018]

Race "haematorrhous"



Close-up lateral view of a male Blue Bonnet hiding in a tree
[Near Bellata, NSW, November 2015]

Lateral view of a male Blue Bonnet
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, September 2015]

Ventral view of a male Blue Bonnet, with a clear view of the richness of colours and patterns
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, 2006]

Frontal view of a pair of Blue Bonnets; male on the left, female on the right (photo courtesy of R. Druce)

Two pairs of Blue Bonnets enjoying the late afternoon sun in wintertime; males left and right, two females in between
[Near Bellata, NSW, June 2009]

Pair of Blue Bonnets in a White Cedar tree in wintertime; the bird on the left is a male, the one on the right a female
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, June 2006]


Frontal view of a female Blue Bonnet - note the solid-red belly patch
[Near Bellata, NSW, November 2015]

Near-frontal view of a female Blue Bonnet - note the scalloped red belly patch
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, July 2012]

Lateral view of a female(?) Blue Bonnet on the ground (photo courtesy of C. Kellenberg)

Sex unknown

Dorsal view of a Blue Bonnet
[Bourke, NSW, September 2012]

Lateral view of a Blue Bonnet in-flight
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2015]

Lateral view of a pair of Blue Bonnets in-flight
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2015]

Dorsal view of two Blue Bonnets on the point of landing in a tree
[Eulah Creek, NSW, December 2012]


Lateral view of a juvenile Blue Bonnet
[Eulah Creek, NSW, December 2012]


Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Sedentary/dispersive Elementary unit: Pair/small flock


Blue Bonnets are the shiest parrots in our area that we have spotted so far. Being exclusively ground-feeding, they are vulnerable to attacks by predators.

Female Blue Bonnet perched in a casuarina tree, surveying its surroundings before going down to feed on a paddock (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, April 2013]

Our observations in the Narrabri area suggest that Blue Bonnets live in small family units of up to about 10 birds; larger groups/flocks have been seen by us further inland.

NB: Breeders report that Blue Bonnets do not mix well with other species of parrots in aviaries.

Food, Diet

Adults: Seeds Dependents: Regurgitated seeds Water intake: Daily

Like many parrots, Blue Bonnets are seed-eaters; primarily they feed on grass seeds, but they will not shun bigger seeds either, when available (see below).

Blue Bonnets feasting on sunflower kernels
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2011]


For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

bluebon_20140226.mp3 haematorrhous
Warning call © MD
bluebon_20150528.mp3 haematorrhous
Warning/depart. (group of 4) © MD
bluebon_20141119.mp3 haematorrhous
Alarm/departure (pair) © MD
bluebon_20141206.mp3 haematorrhous
Squabbling © MD
bluebon_20140627.mp3 haematorrhous
? © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.