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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 .

ADULT

MALE

Full-frontal view of a male Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Durikai SF, near Warwick, QLD, November 2017]

Close-up frontal view of a male Red-winged Parrot
[Pilliga Bore Bath, Pilliga, NSW, February 2024]

Frontal view of a male Red-winged Parrot holding a seed pod (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Stanage Bay, QLD, July 2021]

Close-up frontal/ventral view of a male Red-winged Parrot checking out the photographer
[Pilliga Bore Bath, Pilliga, NSW, February 2024]

Near-frontal view of a male Red-winged Parrot holding a seed pod (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Stanage Bay, QLD, July 2021]

Near-frontal view of a male Red-winged Parrot looking sideways (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Durikai SF, near Warwick, QLD, November 2017]

Near-lateral view of a male Red-winged Parrot chewing on a seed pod (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Stanage Bay, QLD, July 2021]

Lateral view of a male Red-winged Parrot chewing on a seed pod (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Stanage Bay, QLD, July 2021]

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

Lateral view onto the upperparts of a male Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Stanage Bay, QLD, July 2021]

Near-dorsal view of a male Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Durikai SF, near Warwick, QLD, November 2017]

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 male Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Katherine, NT, July 2020]

Dorsal view of a male Red-winged Parrot, showing its near-black mantle
[Eulah Creek, NSW, June 2007]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Mount Molloy, QLD, July 2018]

Close-up near-frontal/ventral view of a female Red-winged Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, June 2023]

Near-lateral view of a female Red-winged Parrot - note the non-passerine toe configuration
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

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

Near-lateral view onto the upperparts of a female Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Stanage Bay, QLD, July 2021]

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 feeding on White Cedar nuts from the ground while they are soft, because wet after a rain shower
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, April 2006]

Lateral view of a female Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Stanage Bay, QLD, July 2021]

Lateral view of a female Red-winged Parrot stretching one of its wings (photo courtesy of R. Druce)

Lateral/ventral view of a female Red-winged Parrot; seen by us over a period of weeks in spring 2011, this individual had 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]

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]

PAIR

Pair of Red-winged Parrots feasting on an introduced Paddy Melon (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Bowra Wildlife Sanctuary, near Cunnamulla, QLD, June 2019]

Lateral view of a pair of Red-winged Parrots drinking water from a bird bath
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2023]

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)

Additional information

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

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of a juvenile male Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Bowra Wildlife Reserve, near Cunnamulla, QLD, September 2017]

Near-lateral view of a juvenile Red-winged Parrot looking backwards
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, September 2006]

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

Near-lateral view of a juvenile, 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]

Close-up lateral view of a juvenile Red-winged Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2023]

Close-up lateral view of a juvenile Red-winged Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2023]

Lateral view of a juvenile male Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Bowra Wildlife Reserve, near Cunnamulla, QLD, September 2017]

Close-up near-dorsal/ventral view of a juvenile Red-winged Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, June 2023]

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

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]

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

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

Near-dorsal view of a juvenile female Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Bowra Wildlife Reserve, near Cunnamulla, QLD, September 2017]

Dorsal view of a juvenile female Red-winged Parrot (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Bowra Wildlife Reserve, near Cunnamulla, QLD, September 2017]

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 a juvenile bird displaying its underwing pattern (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, January 2013]

Male Red-winged Parrot with a begging juvenile (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Mount Molloy, QLD, July 2018]

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", "lar", "malunna", "jindi" [bundjalung] = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Tree hollow Material: ? Height above ground: 5 - 20 m

Close-up view of a Red-winged Parrot at the entrance of its nest hollow (photo courtesy of J. Boettcher, FNQ Nature Tours)
[Mareeba, QLD, August 2020]

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

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "mirk", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena", "pum-pum" = 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).

Near-dorsal view of a flock of Red-winged Parrots in flight; 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 taking nectar out of the blossoms of a grevillea (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Loyalty Beach, Cape York peninsula, QLD, August 2019]

Near-frontal view of a female Red-winged Parrot that seemed to be interested in the buds of a eucalypt
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

Dorsal/ventral view of a male Red-winged Parrot munching a grevillea seed
[Pine Creek, NT, August 2014]

Male Red-winged Parrot feasting on an introduced Paddy Melon (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Bowra Wildlife Sanctuary, near Cunnamulla, QLD, June 2019]

Female Red-winged Parrot feasting on an introduced Paddy Melon (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Bowra Wildlife Sanctuary, near Cunnamulla, QLD, June 2019]

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

This Red-winged Parrot has been feeding in an area burnt by a recent bushfire (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Marrakai track, Top End, NT, August 2018]

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

Two juvenile Red-winged Parrots drinking from a bird bath
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2023]

Two juvenile Red-winged Parrots and a pair of Red-rumped Parrots drinking from a bird bath
[Eulah Creek, NSW, June 2023]

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_20230603.mp3 (NW NSW) Alarm/departure (2 juveniles), (+ Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater) © MD
redwing_pb_20180902.m4a (Top End, NT) Alarm calls(?); group in-flight © PB
redwing_pb_20211014.m4a (Top End, NT) Competing for food(?); mob of 14 © PB
redwing_20240405_3.m4a (NW NSW) Competing for food(?) (juvenile) © MD
redwing_20190311.m4a (NW NSW) Juvenile begging, being fed & departure © MD
redwing_20221127.mp3 (NW NSW) 2 juveniles begging + parents' response © MD

More Red-winged Parrot sound recordings are available at xeno-canto.org .

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.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.