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Red-rumped Parrot

(Psephotus haematonotus)
Alternative names: "Grass Parrot", "Red-backed Parrot"; Misnomer: "Ground Parrot"
Size: 26-28 cm
Weight: 60-65 g

Similar species

SUBSECTIONS:     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Taxonomy, classification

See Red-rumped Parrot at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Red-rumped Parrots are relatively small parrots. Race "haematonotus" are one of the most common parrot species in inland NSW and can be seen in the Narrabri area regularly and in large numbers.

Click here for sighting information


Not the photos you want? Or are you after even better quality? Have a look here .

Race "haematonotus"

Frontal portrait of a male Red-rumped Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2013]

Frontal view of a male Red-rumped Parrot
[Near Narrabri, NSW, September 2006]

Slightly different frontal view of a male Red-rumped Parrot - here one can see more clearly the blue frontal edge of both wings (photo courtesy of R. Druce)

Lateral view of a male Red-rumped Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2007]

Frontal view of a male Red-rumped Parrot foraging in grass
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2011]

Lateral view of a male Red-rumped Parrot foraging in grass
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2011]

Lateral view of a male Red-rumped Parrot foraging in grass
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2012]

Near-dorsal view of a male Red-rumped Parrot, showing most clearly the red patch on its rump
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2011]

Dorsal view of a male Red-rumped Parrot hiding in a Grevillea robusta tree
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2013]

In this photo of a drinking male Red-rumped Parrot the whole of its back can be seen clearly
[O'Brien's Creek, Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2011]

This male Red-rumped Parrot in flight also displays conspicuously its red rump (photo courtesy of R. Druce)

Frontal view of a pair of Red-rumped Parrots having a drink and a bath; the male is visible on the left, the female on the right
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2009]

Near-frontal view of a female Red-rumped Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2009]

Lateral view of a female Red-rumped Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2008]

Frontal view of a female Red-rumped Parrot foraging in grass
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2011]

Female Red-rumped Parrot with its head turned sideways
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2013]

Lateral view of a female Red-rumped Parrot feeding
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2013]

Male Red-rumped Parrot in its colourful plumage, right, and well-camouflaged female, left
[Eulah Creek, NSW, July 2011]

Here a different perspective on a pair of Red-rumped Parrots
[Near Narrabri, NSW, December 2006]

Pair of Red-rumped Parrots in a White Cedar tree; this photo demonstrates the birds' camouflage
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, 2004]

Red-rumped Parrots taking a bath; the one in the water is the α-male
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2011]

Frontal view of an immature male Red-rumped Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2008]

Lateral view of an immature male Red-rumped Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2011]

Probably immature, moulting female Red-rumped Parrot
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2008]

Frontal view of a juvenile, possibly female Red-rumped Parrot in a casuarina tree
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2012]

Three out of a clutch of five Red-rumped Parrot chicks; there is also a photo of all five chicks
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2008]

Neighbours on a roost eye-balling each other: Tawny Frogmouth (right) and Red-rumped Parrot (left)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2013]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Sep - Dec Eggs: 4 - 7 Incubation period: 18 - 20 days Fledging age: 28 - 35 days


"bungobittah", "malunna" = Nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Tree hollow Material: Wood dust Height above ground: 2 - 15 m

Pair of Red-rumped Parrots at the entrance to their nesting hollow
[Yarrie Lake, near Wee Waa, October 2011]

Female Red-rumped Parrot just after emerging from inside the nesting hollow
[Yarrie Lake, near Wee Waa, October 2011]

Another female Red-rumped Parrot at its nesting hollow; the dead tree is standing in a swamp
[Yarrie Lake, near Wee Waa, NSW, February 2012]

Red-rumped Parrots inspecting a nesting box provided for, and in the year before also occupied by, Eastern Rosellas
[Eulah Creek, NSW, July 2013]

Here the female Red-rumped Parrot can be seen working on the opening
[Eulah Creek, NSW, July 2013]


"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 24 x 19 mm Colour: White Shape: Rounded


Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Sedentary/dispersive Elementary unit: Pair/small flock

Red-rumped Parrots very conspicuously live in pairs and family units during the breeding season. During autmn/winter the pairs still form subunits inside small to medium-size flocks. This fact is prominent, because the males and females are so easy to distinguish. While the photos above show, apart from single birds, pairs and families, here we present a photo of a flock feeding with "safety in numbers".

Flock of 40 Red-rumped Parrots feeding on grass seeds along our driveway; note how most birds are in the shady areas
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2013]

Red-rumped Parrots are preyed upon by falcons, mostly Australian Hobbies and Peregrine Falcons. There is a separate page describing how various bird species reacted under threat from Australian Hobbies hunting, including a photo showing how a Red-rumped Parrot hid in dense growth.

As basically all male parrots and cockatoos, male Red-rumped Parrots need to prove their mettle prior to the breeding season. To show that they are good partners - and will feed the female while she is incubating the eggs - male Red-rumped Parrots feed their partners. Her begging calls resemble the calls of chicks begging for food.

Male Red-rumped Parrot (left) feeding its partner
[Yarrie Lake, NSW, August 2013]

Food, Diet

Adults: Seeds Dependents: Regurgitated seeds Water intake: Daily

Like many parrots, Red-rumped Parrots are seed-eaters; primarily they take grass seeds, but are also found regularly foraging in reeds.

Male Red-rumped Parrot feeding on grass seeds
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2012]

Male Red-rumped Parrot feeding on the seeds of weeds
[Bourke, NSW, September 2012]

Birds can find food in all kinds of strange places - here a male Red-rumped Parrot finding seeds on a concrete footpath
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, May 2013]

Red-rumped Parrot feeding on lawn (laced with clover)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2013]

On a 45 C "stinker" of a day, these Red-rumped Parrots were not only having a drink, but also used the moisture picked up by the hot wind blowing over the ornamental pond as evaporative cooling
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2014]


For this species we have recorded the following call/s. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

redrump_20140107.mp3 haematonotus
Contact call MD
redrump_20141018_3.mp3 haematonotus
Contact calls MD
redrump_20140716.mp3 haematonotus
Pair Q&A MD
redrump_20150311.mp3 haematonotus
redrump_20141026.mp3 haematonotus
Calling group passing over MD
redrump_20140130.mp3 haematonotus
Group arriving MD
redrump_20140224.mp3 haematonotus
Flock arriving MD
redrump_20140120.mp3 haematonotus
In-flight MD
redrump_20140108_2.mp3 haematonotus
In-flight MD
redrump_20140109.mp3 haematonotus
Alarm/departure MD
redrump_20140117.mp3 haematonotus
Warning call (Nankeen Kestrel) MD
redrump_20141028_1.mp3 haematonotus
Begging call MD
redrump_20141028.mp3 haematonotus
Begging calls & answers MD
redrump_20141018_2.mp3 haematonotus
Various MD
redrump_20140108_4.mp3 haematonotus
? MD

We have also recorded the wing beat of a Red-rumped Parrot.

redrump_20140723.mp3 haematonotus
Undulating flight MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.