Blue-winged Parrot

Did you know?

When choosing nest sites, Blue-winged Parrots try to get one with a small opening that will prevent predators, like Grey Shrike-thrushes, getting in to steal the eggs and young.

Calls
The call of the Blue-winged Parrot is an extremely high, thin tinkling sound, in fast, followed by slow bursts. It sounds more like the highest squeaks of a thornbill or fairy-wren than a parrot.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
20cm
Maximum Size: 
24cm
Average size: 
21cm
Average weight: 
55g
Breeding season: 
October to February
Clutch Size: 
4 to 6 eggs
Incubation: 
20 days
Nestling Period: 
35 days
Conservation Status
Federal: 
NSW: 
TAS: 
VIC: 
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
306
What does it look like?
Description: 

The Blue-winged Parrot is a slender parrot with an olive-green head and upper body, grading to light green on the fore-neck. The upper tail is green-blue, with yellow sides. The underparts are yellow, and there may be orange in the centre of the belly. A yellow facial patch extends back to the eye. A narrow, dark blue band runs from eye to eye across the forehead. The Blue-winged Parrot gets its name from the large, dark blue patch on the wings. The female is similar to the male, but with slightly duller colours. The Blue-winged Parrot is also known as the Blue-banded or Grass Parrot; the Blue-banded or Hobart Grass-Parrot; and the Blue-banded or Blue-winged Grass-Parakeet.

Similar species: 

The Blue-winged Parrot is very similar to the Elegant Parrot, and to a lesser extent to the Rock and Orange-bellied Parrots.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

The main populations of Blue-winged Parrots are in Tasmania and Victoria, particularly in southern Victoria and the midlands and eastern areas of Tasmania. Sparser populations are found in western New South Wales and eastern South Australia, extending to south-west Queensland and occasionally into the Northern Territory

Habitat: 

The Blue-winged Parrot inhabits a range of habitats from coastal, sub-coastal and inland areas, right through to semi-arid zones. Throughout their range they favour grasslands and grassy woodlands. They are often found near wetlands both near the coast and in semi-arid zones. Blue-winged Parrots can also be seen in altered environments such as airfields, golf-courses and paddocks.

Seasonal movements: 

There is a definite passage of Blue-winged Parrots to and from Tasmania after breeding each year, leaving in March to April and returning in August to October. Some birds, however, over-winter in Tasmania or on the Bass Strait islands.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

Pairs or small parties of Blue-winged Parrots forage mainly on the ground for seeds of grasses and herbaceous plants.

Breeding: 

Blue-winged Parrots breed in Tasmania, coastal south-eastern South Australia and southern Victoria. They form monogamous pairs and make their nests in a tree hollow or stump, preferably one with a vertical opening. The eggs are laid on a bed of decayed wood. The female alone incubates the eggs, leaving the nest at intervals to be fed by the male, but both parents feed the nestlings.

Living with us

Blue-winged Parrots are abundant in Tasmania and common in Victoria and south-eastern South Australia; otherwise they are uncommon. It is thought that clearing of forests has benefited this species in regard to feeding, but not in regard to breeding as potential nest sites are removed.

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