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12

Superb Parrot

(Polytelis swainsonii)
Alternate name(s): "Barraband's Parakeet", "Barraband's Parrot", "Scarlet-breasted Parrot", "Green Leek*"
Size: 37-42 cm
Weight: 145 g (average)

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Superb Parrot at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

ADULT

MALE

Near-frontal view of a male Superb Parrot feeding on the shoots and seeds of a small shrub
[Burrendong Botanic Garden & Arboretum , near Wellington, NSW, April 2016]

Near-lateral view of a male Superb Parrot in an eucalypt tree
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2006]

Lateral view of a male Superb Parrot in an ironbark eucalypt tree
[Burrendong Botanic Garden & Arboretum , near Wellington, NSW, April 2016]

Lateral view of a male Superb Parrot on a paddock
[Near Narrabri, NSW, February 2006]

Ventral view of a male Superb Parrot (photo courtesy of C. Kellenberg)
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2009]

Male Superb Parrot preening (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Near Moree, NSW, June 2013]

Fontal view of a male Superb Parrot in flight
[Near Moree, NSW, June 2013]

FEMALE

Near-frontal view of a female Superb Parrot; while they lack the yellow and red pattern that the males display around their throats, surprisingly the females are more coloured on their undersides, especially their legs
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2006]

Lateral view of a female Superb Parrot
[Near Moree, NSW, June 2013]

Mottled (probably moulting) female Superb Parrot
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2005]

Group of Superb Parrots (photo courtesy of C. Kellenberg)
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2009]

Flock of Superb Parrots in flight (photo courtesy of C. Kellenberg)
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2009]

Lateral view of three Superb Parrots in flight
[Near Moree, NSW, June 2013]

12 out of a flock of about 40 Superb Parrots in flight
[Near Moree, NSW, June 2013]

Flock of Superb Parrots feeding on seeds near a road side
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2006]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Immature female(?) Superb Parrot
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2006]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Sep - Dec Eggs: 4 - 6 Incubation period: 21 days Fledging age: ca. 35 days

Nest building: ? Incubation: Female Dependent care: Female

While incubating and caring for the dependent young in the nest, the female is fed by the male.

Nest

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

Type: Tree hollow Material: Height above ground: 10 - 20 m

Superb Parrots have a preference for River Red Gums or other eucalypt near or over-hanging water. They tend to nest in a dead limb or trunk.

Female Superb Parrot inspecting a potential nesting hollow in an area where Superb Parrots are not known to breed (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[30 km North of Terry Hie Hie, NSW, June 2013]

Eggs

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

Size: 30 x 24 mm Colour: White Shape: Rounded

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Sedentary/dispersive Elementary unit: Small flock

In the north-west of NSW (Narrabri, Moree) often seen by us in mixed flocks with Cockatiels.

Food, Diet

Adults: Seeds Dependents: Regurgitated seeds Water intake: Daily

Like many parrots, Superb Parrots are seed-eaters; primarily they feed on grass seeds.

Near-frontal view of a male Superb Parrot feeding on the shoots and seeds of a small shrub
[Burrendong Botanic Garden & Arboretum , near Wellington, NSW, April 2016]

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.

superb_20140424.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact calls (in-flight; male) © 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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