Mallee Ringnecks, a sub-species of the Australian Ringneck parrot, is a resident breeding species on our 5 acre block in Murray Bridge, South Australia. We see them every day, and they bring great delight to when we see their bright colourful feathers lit by the sunlight.
On the other hand, we are not delighted when they chew on our pears before they are ripe. Next week we are planning to cover the fruit trees with bird netting to avoid having angry humans. This might end up in having a few angry birds hanging around.
A few days ago I photographed two of our local birds preening their feathers in the early morning sunshine.
There’s nothing quite like a good scratch.
We have a small flock of Mallee Ringneck parrots on our five acre block. On most days we will see 2 to 4 of them, sometimes more. We love seeing them in and around our garden – except when they attack our ripening pears.
This autumn and early winter we have had above average rainfall for this time of year. Over recent weeks it has rained on many occasions and our gravel driveway quickly gathers the rainfall, forming several puddles. A few days ago I noticed two of the parrots enjoying a splash in one of the puddles. The muddy water (see photos below) seemed to them to be preferable to the nice clean water in the bird baths nearby.
We have a small flock of about 6 Mallee Ringnecks resident in our garden. We see them every day and they have breed successfully nearby. The Mallee Ringneck is a race of the Australian Ringneck and is found in areas which contain predominantly mallee tree habitat. Our 5 acre block is half covered in mallee trees, so they probably feel quite at home.
In recent weeks I’ve been aware that one of them has some interesting colour variations. In the photo above, the bird on the left has a much darker head than normal, plus more yellow on the chest and blue cheek feathers rather than green. Throughout the broad range of the Australian Ringneck there is considerable colour variation.
The Western Ringneck (also called the Port Lincoln Parrot) has a particularly dark head – it’s black in fact. Port Lincoln Parrots have been recorded in the Adelaide metropolitan region, but it is suspected that they were aviary escapes or releases. I’m not claiming that this bird is of the race, Port Lincoln Parrot, but I suspect it may have escaped from someone’s cage as they are a common aviary bird. Another possibility is that it is the progeny of cross breeding between a Mallee and a Port Lincoln Parrot, thus accounting for the washed out grey head rather than a black one. Both races interbreed readily in the Flinders Ranges where their ranges overlap.
The photo below shows a close up view of the same bird. The third photo shows the normal colours of the Mallee Ringneck.
I’d be very interested in reader’s comments.
We have many different kinds of parrots visiting our garden and five acre block over the course of the year. Some are resident, like the Mallee Ringnecks, others are only occasional visitors. The Little Corella is one of those infrequent visitors and when they do visit, it’s usually just a “flying visit” – meaning – they just fly over without landing. This is despite the species being present in large flocks of 200 – 500 (or more) along the River Murray only 4 – 5 kilometres away (as the parrot flies).
This morning I was busy attending to something when my attention was drawn to an unusual call outside – unusual for our bird life, that is. I instantly recognised the call of a flock of Little Corellas. I raced outside, noting that there was no time to grab either binoculars or camera, just to see a flock of about 50 quickly disappearing over the trees in the distance.
Never mind; at least I now know that they still know where I live, and are prepared to pay me a visit every now and then, albeit oh so briefly.
The photos on this post were taken last year in the riverside reserve at the nearby town of Mannum.
Mallee Ringneck parrots are common around my home town of Murray Bridge in South Australia. Almost everyday we have a small number visiting our garden. In fact, I would regard them as a resident species because there are very few days when we don’t see or hear them.
They have taken a liking to the beautiful Eremophila plant shown in the photos on this post. The nectar in the flowers must be delightful to them. Of course, after they have visited each bush there is a carpet of petals on the ground under the bush.