Orange-bellied Parrot

Photo: JJ Harrison

Orange-bellied Parrot

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What do Orange-bellied Parrots look like?

The Orange-bellied Parrot is approximately 200 mm long, a little larger than a budgerigar. Its plumage is bright grass-green above and mostly yellow below with a bright orange patch in the centre of the lower belly. It has a bright azure blue patch on the outer wing and a blue bar across the forehead above the nostrils.

Where are Orange-bellied Parrots found?

The Orange-bellied Parrot breeds only in coastal south-west Tasmania and spends the winter in coastal Victoria and South Australia. In Tasmania it occurs in buttongrass moorland interspersed with patches of forest or tea tree scrub. The Orange-bellied Parrot feeds almost exclusively on seeds and fruits, mainly of sedges, and salt-tolerant coastal and salt marsh plants.

Fast facts:

  1. On the brink of extinction, the Orange-bellied Parrot has been ranked as one of the world’s rarest and most endangered species. There are less than 150 individuals left in the wild and they are listed as critically endangered within Australia. Within each state, the Orange-bellied Parrot is listed as critically endangered in NSW, endangered in South Australia and Tasmania, and threatened in Victoria.

  2. The average lifespan of Orange-bellied Parrots is just over two years.

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OUR CONSERVATION STATUS
  • National: Critically Endangered
  • State: Critically Endangered (NSW), Endangered (SA, TAS), Threatened (VIC)

HOW MANY OF US ARE THERE?

< 150 individuals

DID YOU KNOW?

On the brink of extinction the Orange-bellied Parrot has been ranked as one of the world’s rarest and most endangered species. The Orange-bellied Parrot is approximately 200 mm long, a little larger than a budgerigar. Its plumage is bright grass-green above and mostly yellow below with a bright orange patch in the centre of the lower belly. It has a bright azure blue patch on the outer wing and a blue bar across the forehead above the nostrils.

OUR HABITAT

The Orange-bellied Parrot breeds only in coastal south-west Tasmania and spends the winter in coastal Victoria and South Australia. In Tasmania it occurs in buttongrass moorland interspersed with patches of forest or tea tree scrub. The Orange-bellied Parrot feeds almost exclusively on seeds and fruits, mainly of sedges, and salt-tolerant coastal and salt marsh plants.

FAMILY LIFE

Orange-bellied Parrots nests high in the hollows of mature eucalypt trees that grow adjacent to its feeding plains. Two to six eggs are laid in early November and mid-December. The average lifespan of Orange-bellied Parrots is just over two years.

Only the female incubates the eggs that hatch after 21 days. After hatching, the female remains in the nest for 10 days, attended by the male. After 10 days the female stops brooding during the day and both the male and the female feed the young. Most of the young are fledged at four to five weeks old in late January to mid-February and leave the breeding area from mid-March.

THREATS TO OUR SURVIVAL
  • Habitat loss and fragmentation due to drainage of wetlands for grazing
  • Alteration and destruction of saltmarsh for industrial and urban development
  • Vegetation clearance for agricultural purposes
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