The Australian King parrot, also known as the Scarlet Parrot, was first officially recorded in the species list in 1818 by Martin Lichtenstein. Their habitat is along the eastern coast of Australia. They love heavily forested areas and nest in hollowed out trunks of trees. The habitat of these birds is being over taken by farmland. The birds are compensating for this loss by foraging on crops, making them seem to be a bit of a nuisance to farmers. There are two subspecies, Alisterus scapularis minor, and Alisterus scapularis scapularis. The only difference between them is that the A. s. minor is about 2 inches smaller in length compared to the 17 inch head to tail length of the A. s. scapularis. They weight about half of a pound.
Though these birds are rare as pets outside of Australia, they make great pets. They are reluctant to be physically handled unless they have been born in captivity and hand-reared by humans. They can be a bit shy, but readily bond with humans. Australian King Parrots are vocal and will talk, however their vocabulary isn’t the best. Their captive lifespan is thought to be about 20-25 years or more.
This parrot shows off a duo of colors that remind me of one very wonderful holiday: Christmas. Green and red dominate this birds body. The males are just a little bit more dazzling than the females with a larger area of red. On the males, red covers the head, breast and under parts, switching to green on the wings, back and tail. There is a bluish hue on the rump and blue band on the back of the neck. The female sports much less red, with a green head, neck, breast, wings, back and tail. Her under parts, however, are colored the same bright red as the male.
In the wild, the Australian King Parrot feeds on seeds, nuts, and insects. In captivity, a wholesome pellet supplemented with some seeds and nuts along with plenty of fruits and vegetables is recommended.
- Psittacine beak and feather disease
Cage Sizes: These birds need lots of room. So go for the largest cage you can afford.