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12

Turquoise Parrot

(Neophema pulchella)
Alternative names: "Beautiful Grass-parrot", "Chestnut-shouldered Grass-parrot", "Turquoisine Parrot", "Red-shouldered Parakeet"
Size: 19-21 cm
Weight: 40-45 g

Similar species

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

Taxonomy, classification

See Turquoise Parrot at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Turquoise Parrots, like many other parrots, are very quick and can be hard to spot. First seen by us in 2005, 20 km South of Narrabri, NSW.

Click here for sighting information

Photos

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

Frontal view of a male Turquoise Parrot
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, January 2008]

(Distant) near-lateral view of a male Turquoise Parrot - given the richness of his colours, the gloss of the plumage and the prominent red-brown tints on the wings, this is most likely an α-male
[Timmallallie NP, NSW, December 2013]

Lateral view of a male Turquoise Parrot (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Inverell, NSW, April 2014]

Lateral view of a (probably young) male Turquoise Parrot
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, January 2009]

View onto the back of a (probably young) male Turquoise Parrot approaching a water puddle
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, January 2009]

This male Turquoise Parrot was seen approaching a water puddle at nightfall
[Near Barraba, NSW, June 2011]

Here a clear view of the yellow outer tail feathers
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, March 2008]

Frontal view of a female Turquoise Parrot
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, January 2009]

The same female Turquoise Parrot as above, now drinking from a waterhole
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, January 2009]

Frontal view of a pair of Turquoise Parrots; the male is an older bird, displaying the characteristic orange band on its lower belly; the female, also tinged with a bit of orange, may also be a senior bird
[Glacial Valley near Rocky Creek, NSW, September 2008]

"Since you are such a cutie"...
[Glacial Valley near Rocky Creek, NSW, September 2008]

Pair seen on the edge of Leard State Forest, on the fence to a private property in Maules Creek
[Leard State Forest, NSW, September 2011]

Frontal view of a young, probably immature, female Turquoise Parrot
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, April 2013]

Lateral view from underneath of a young, probably immature, female Turquoise Parrot
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, April 2013]

Dorsal view of an immature Turquoise Parrot
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, March 2008]

Although unfortunately unsharp, here a lateral view of a very young Turquoise Parrot approaching a waterhole (note the absence of a tail)
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, December 2008]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Sep - Nov Eggs: 2 - 6 Incubation period: 20 days Fledging age: 24 - 30 days

Nest

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

Type: Tree hollow Material: Wooddust Height above ground: 0 - 5 m

Turquoise Parrots are known to use hollows at very low levels, e.g. in stumps, fallen logs or even strainer posts in fences (see below).

Strainer post in which a pair of Turquoise Parrots had its nest
[Near Narrabri, NSW, February 2009]

Eggs

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

Size: 21 x 18 mm Colour: White Shape: Rounded

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal? Mobility: Dispersive Elementary unit: Pair/small flock

The photo below shows that, like other parrots and cockatoos, Turquoise Parrots are also social animals that like to live in flocks outside the breeding season.

On this occasion there were about 30 Turquoise Parrots near a waterhole in the Pilliga scrub; two more birds were sitting on a neighbouring tree
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, July 2011]

Food, Diet

Adults: Seeds Dependents: Regurgitated seeds Water intake: Daily

Like many parrots, Turquoise Parrots are seed-eaters; primarily they feed on grass seeds.

Call/s

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.

turqpar_20140419_4.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact calls (in-flight) MD
turqpar_20140419_5.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact calls (in-flight) MD
turqpar_20140419_6.mp3 (NW NSW) Warning call MD
turqpar_20140129.mp3 (NW NSW) Warning call MD

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