Red-capped Parrot

Did you know?

Young birds learn to feed in a special way from their parents, using their spectacular long bill. They hold a large capsule with a foot, rotating the food and manipulating the long upper bill to neatly extract seeds.

Calls
In flight, a grating 2 syllable "krukk-rak" or "crrr-uk" and shrieks when alarmed.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
34cm
Maximum Size: 
38cm
Average size: 
36cm
Average weight: 
110g
Breeding season: 
September to late October
Clutch Size: 
4-7
Incubation: 
23 days
Nestling Period: 
30 days
37 days
Conservation Status
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
290
What does it look like?
Description: 

The male is a gaudy medium-sized parrot, dark green above with a red cap, lime green cheeks and rump, blue-purple breast and red underparts. The female is duller, with a greenish crown and cheeks and pale mauve underparts. Both have a distinctive long pale bill, with a long upper mandible, giving them the common name of Hookbill. They are known as King Parrots in WA. Their flight is undulating and fluttering. When disturbed, they will fly to the top of nearby trees and perch in a typical upright stance, calling loudly.

Similar species: 

Red-caps are similar in size to Australian Ring-neck Parrot  Barnardius zonarius, but are gaudy and distinctive.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

Red-caps are endemic to the south west of Western Australia (found only there), mainly within 100 kms of the coast, from Perth to Esperance.

Habitat: 

They are found in tall eucalypt forests,typically Marri and  also Wandoo and Jarrah.

Seasonal movements: 

These parrots are mainly sedentary.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

The bill is long, specially adapted to remove seeds from the large capsules of eucalypts like Marri. They also eat some insects and flowers. They feed quietly, both in trees and on the ground.

Breeding: 

They breed in hollows in a tall eucalypt often Marri. The eggs are laid on a layer of wood dust.The female incubates 4 to 7 eggs and looks after them until about 2 weeks, when both parents bring food. 

Living with us

Red-caps may be a nuisance in orchards and are shot with an appropriate licence. Some are also taken illegally for the pet trade. 

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