5 Amazing Facts about Red-Winged Parrots of northern Australia

by Morwenna Petaia

Taking a tour of the Wild Top End not only supports eco-tourism in Australia, it allows you to see amazing animals, especially the parrots of Northern Australia. Here are 5 amazing facts about one of our favourite birds, the Red-winged Parrot, that will leave you wanting to care more for the environment.

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1. Red-winged Parrots Are An Unbelievable Colour

The vivid aquamarine green head and belly of the Red-winged Parrot appears as if there is a light glowing from inside. But even with such stunning colour, in the northern sunlight and amongst the brilliant leaves of eucalyptus trees, the red-winged parrot can blend in with their environment.

parrots of northern Australia

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2. Red-winged Parrots Are One Of A Kind

The scientific name for the Red-winged Parrot is Aprosmictus erythropterus. It is the only parrot in the Aprosmictus genus in Australia. This makes it one of a kind.

The Red-winged Parrot’s closest relative is the Jonquil Parrot of East Timor and Indonesia.

female Red-winged Parrot Kakadu, Australia

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3. Red-winged Parrots Have A Distinctive Call

The Red-winged Parrot has a soft chip chip call which can help you to find them, even when you may not be able to see them. This is helpful if you want to take a photo as these nervous parrots will often fly away before you can get close enough.

Listen:

Wildlife Guide Janine shared this experience while on the Wild Top End Tour:

“I once heard the soft call from low in a mangrove beside Buffalo Creek. I turned and could not believe my eyes. Just 10 metres away, at eye level, was a glorious male Red-winged Parrot feeding in the tree. I did not dare to move, other than to snap a few pics. For close to ten minutes he stayed still, wet from a heavy shower of rain, feeding and watching me from the corner of his eye. Then he flew away.”

Aprosmictus erythropterus male Darwin, NT

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4. Red-winged Parrots Live In Northern Australia

The red-winged parrot is native to northern and north-eastern parts of Australia. You can also find these beautiful parrots in parts of New Guinea and Irian Jaya.

Red-winged Parrots live mostly in open woodland areas, with eucalyptus trees and grassy understorey. They usually stay high in the trees, unless they have dropped seeds or need a drink.

red-winged parrots of north Australia

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5. The Seductive Dancing Of Red-winged Parrots

Many parrots of northern Australia have a mating ritual. Male red-winged parrots will circle in a seductive dance around the female. He will then land beside her and attempt to impress her by flashing his blue rump. He will whisper sweet nothings to her, then make eyes at her – red eyes – before moving towards her to mate.

red winged parrot in flight northern Australia

Red-winged Parrots breed annually. They lay their eggs inside hollow tree trunks, high in the tree. It is common for the nesting tree to be found near water. The female will stay and incubate the eggs. The female can leave to find food or sometimes she is fed by the male.

 

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Eco-tourism in Australia means that you get to see the best sights of Australia while making certain that your trip leaves the area in pristine condition. This allows us to continue to see diverse flora and fauna.  Read about some other flying creatures we see in the Top End: Butterflies!

The best eco-tours to see Red-winged Parrots and other northern parrots are the Wild Top End and Maximum Wildlife.

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NOTES:

To learn more about the red-winged parrot visit:

Atlas of Living Australia Red-winged Parrot: https://bie.ala.org.au/species/urn:lsid:biodiversity.org.au:afd.taxon:da86db9a-1c4f-4cd6-9f2f-9dd11763b772

BirdLlife Red-winged Parrot factsheet: http://birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/red-winged-parrot

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