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12

Red-winged Parrot

(Aprosmictus erythropterus)
Alternate name(s): "Crimson-winged Parrot", "Red-winged Lory"
Aboriginal name(s): "billai"

Size: 31-32 cm
Weight: 150-200 g
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Red-winged Parrot at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

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

Additional information

There is a separate page showing a pair of Red-winged Parrots taking a bath.

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Lateral view of a male Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, January 2013]

Lateral view of a male Red-winged Parrot visiting a bird bath
[Coonabarabran, NSW, October 2015]

Lateral view of a (probably young) male Red-winged Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, December 2006]

Dorsal view of a male Red-winged Parrot, showing its near-black mantle
[Eulah Creek, NSW, December 2006]

Near-dorsal view of a male Red-winged Parrot, with a spectacular display of its colours, including the blueish mantle (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, January 2013]

Dorsal view of a pair of Red-winged Parrots, both showing their blue rumps, while the male also spreads its wing, displaying the whole variety of their colours (photo courtesy of R. Druce)

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female Red-winged Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

Near-frontal view of the same female Red-winged Parrot as shown above
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

Different near-frontal view of a female Red-winged Parrot
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, September 2006]

Near-lateral view of a female Red-winged Parrot
[Coonabarabran, NSW, October 2015]

Close-up lateral view of a female Red-winged Parrot feasting on fruit
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, May 2006]

Lateral view of a female Red-winged Parrot eating White Cedar nuts from the ground while they are soft, because wet after a rain shower
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, April 2006]

Female Red-winged Parrot stretching one of its wings (photo courtesy of R. Druce)

Dorsal view of a female Red-winged Parrot, exhibiting the light orange tips and inner edges of the tail feathers (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, January 2013]

This female Red-winged Parrot, seen by us over a period of weeks in spring 2011, has some peculiar light-green feathers on its wings, the likes of which we have not seen on any other Red-winged Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Near-lateral view of two immature Red-winged Parrots; the bird in the upper right is probably a male, the other a female
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2016]

Near-lateral view of an immature male Red-winged Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2016]

Lateral view of an immature, probably male, Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of L. Tonnochy)
[Near Townsville, QLD, January 2011]

Near-lateral view of an immature, probably male, Red-winged Parrot, with a speckled appearance overall, probably moulting (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, January 2013]

Lateral view of the same Red-winged Parrot as shown above (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, January 2013]

Dorsal view of an immature, probably male, Red-winged Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2016]

Close-up near-lateral view of an immature, probably female, Red-winged Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2016]

Frontal view of a very young Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, January 2013]

No offense intended - in this frontal shot one can see a young Red-winged Parrot's tongue, an important tool to help peeling seeds (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, January 2013]

Lateral portrait of a young Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, January 2013]

This immature Red-winged Parrot demonstrates its non-passerine foothold (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, January 2013]

Family of Red-winged Parrots with an immature bird displaying its underwing pattern (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, January 2013]

Three immature Red-winged Parrots approaching a minipond
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2008]

Australian King-Parrots, left, with a family of Red-winged Parrots, right
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, 2003]

Breeding information

Breeding season: May - Dec Eggs: 3 - 6 Incubation period: 20 days Fledging age: ca. 35 days

Given the right conditions, Red-winged Parrots can breed almost any time of the year. The breeding season in the tropical north peaks around May-July, farther south (in subtropical, moderate and inland climates) it peaks around September-December.

Nest building: Male & female? Incubation: Female Dependent care: Male & female

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Hollow Material: ? Height above ground: 5 - 20 m

Male Red-winged Parrot at the entrance of its nesting hollow (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 31 x 26 mm Colour: White Shape: Oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Dispersive Elementary unit: Pair/small flock

 

Red-winged Parrots are usually seen only in small numbers, in groups of up to 4 or 5 birds (probably families). However, during the mating season of 2010 seen by us in a small flock of about 20 birds (see photo below).

Flock of Red-winged Parrots; this is about half the number of birds seen at the time
[Narrabri, NSW, July 2010]

Food, Diet

Like many other parrots, Red-winged Parrots feed on seeds, but they take fruit and nectar too.

The culinary preferences of Red-winged Parrots differ significantly from those of the outwardly similar Australian King-Parrots. Although both species share their liking for White Cedar fruit, Red-winged Parrots prefer figs and other (cactus) fruit (rather than apricots). Red-winged Parrots were also observed by us once taking seeds of Acacia salicina.

Male Red-winged Parrot (front) and a female bird (back) eating one of their favourite fruits in the orchard
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, 2004]

This female seemed to be interested in the buds of one of our eucalypts
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

Male Red-winged Parrot munching on a grevillea seed
[Pine Creek, NT, August 2014]

Female Red-winged Parrot feasting on what looks like privet (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Gilgandra, NSW, August 2010]

Male Red-winged Parrot eating some kind of fruit
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, August 2014]

Lateral view of a pair of Red-winged Parrots drinking water from a bird bath
[Coonabarabran, NSW, October 2015]

Call(s)/Song

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.

redwing_20140208.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact call © MD
redwing_20140911.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact calls © MD
redwing_20140208_2.mp3 (NW NSW) Warning/ departure © MD
redwing_20140112.mp3 (NW NSW) Alarm/departure © 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.