Plumage provides camouflage in grasses

Red-rumped parrots can live from 15 to 32 years. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Red-rumped parrots can live from 15 to 32 years. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
The red-rumped parrot was given the name Platycercus haematonotus by John Gould in 1838 who described the species from a specimen collected in New South Wales. Like the common name, the species name refers to the red rump.

Red-rumped parrots are slim, moderate-size parrots approximately 28cm in length.

Males are a bright emerald-green colour with yellow underparts, a brick-red rump and blue highlights on the wings and upper back. Females are much less vibrant, with pale olive underparts, dull green wings and back and blue-black wingtips. The defining red rump is only on the male.

In the wild in Australia, red-rumped parrots live in pairs or flocks in open country with access to water. They nest in the hollows of trees’ old stumps, even fence posts.

Their green plumage provides great camouflage and when in ankle-high grasses they can remain unseen until the viewer is only a short distance away. They spend a great deal of time feeding on the ground, and often call to one another with an attractive chee chillip chee chillip.

Red-rumped parrots do well in aviaries and cages, but don’t like to be in crowded spaces. They form strong social bonds and within the flock drama will often occur, but is resolved quickly.

The birds at Dunedin Botanic Garden aviary have a few colour mutations which makes for a nice display. If properly cared for, these birds will live from 15 to 32 years.

Garden Life is produced by Dunedin Botanic Garden. For further information contact Alisha Sherriff.

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter