Australian King Parrots

It’s a race against time to keep my commitment to adding a new post every Friday, hopefully I’ll get it finished before midnight! I’ve just come home from a trip to Apollo Bay, it was one of those trips that fills you with contentment, I think I’ll be smiling in my sleep.

This morning on our way to the rain forest at Lake Elizabeth we took a wrong turn and found a lively family of Australian King Parrots cavorting in the casuarina.


Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis)
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/250, f/5.6, ISO 200, focal length 170mm


The image above is of a male Australian King Parrot showing off his resplendent red feathers, green wings, bright shoulder flash, long tail, yellow iris and lovely bill.  Male King Parrots are the only Australian parrots to have a completely red head; females have a green head, neck and breast. They are large parrots weighing just over 200g and measuring about 42cm.


Australian King Parrot
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/500, f/5.6, ISO 640, focal length 400mm


Like the females, juvenile Australian King Parrots also have green heads, the bird above is a young male, the green feathers on his head, neck and breast are being replaced with adult colouring.


Australian King Parrot
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/640, f/5.6, ISO 500, focal length 400mm


I like the direct look from the parrot above, he didn’t look so peaceful in the next image.


Australian King Parrot
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/500, f/5.6, ISO 400, focal length 380mm


It looks as though he is squawking like a cockatoo but actually he was yawning, a quiet, long yawn. King Parrots don’t squawk, their call is a distinctive high-pitched whistle that sounds perfect amongst the tall trees and ferns of the rain forest.

I really like the way the casuarina looked today and especially liked the opportunity to photograph such splendid birds. It’s 23:59, I think this post will be published on the right day!


Happy birding, Kim



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