Great Birding Moments # 19 King Parrot
I remember the first time I ever saw a King Parrot. It was back in the late 1970s on a holiday in NSW. We’d been several days in Sydney and we drove to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. We were planning to take the children on the Scenic Railway which happens to be the world’s steepest incline railway and then cross the valley in the scenic skyway which takes you towards the famous landmark, the amazing rock formation called The Three Sisters.
We did all of those things and it was one of the highlights of our holiday. Unfortunately, we did not have a great view of the valley, the surrounding mountains or the Three Sisters due to thick fog for most of the morning. One thing did stand out in the fog, however. For the first time I saw an Australian King Parrot. As you can see from the photo the male is bright red and green. Viewing this species for the first time, from a few metres away, when everything around you is dull, foggy and damp is an amazing memory I have.
- Great Birding Moments – a list of the articles I have written in this series, with links.
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Hi Trevor, hope you enjoyed your recent birthday celebrations.
Tonight, after some months’ absence from my bird feeding table, I am hosting dinner for three male King Parrots. I am amazed that although there is certainly a hierarchy, they are not aggressive or argumentative with each other.
Usually I see a male/female couple with or without young. But this is a first – having three fellers!
I am interested to know why they are “sharing” so kindly.
Thanks for sharing this story. This is a species I know very little about, having only seen it on a handful of occasions. Sadly, they are not present in South Australia (except at Adelaide Zoo).
I can only speculate on the reason you had 3 males in a group. As you said, it’s normal for them to be in pairs. The only suggestion I can come up with is that they could be a “bachelor” group ie they are just coming out of the juvenile stage but have not yet formed pairing with females nor have they established a territory with a female.