Skittles in the Sky : Australia’s Parrots

 

Skittles in the Sky : Australia’s Parrots

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Scroll through the pictures and descriptions below to see a sampling of Australia’s amazingly colorful parrots


Rainbow Lorikeet
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By far one of Australia's most colorful parrots, the Rainbow Lorikeet travels in pairs or noisy flocks across eastern Australia. It has become very common in aviaries where people can feed them with nectar filled cups.




Superb Parrot

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Listed as a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and alteration, the Superb Parrot can still be commonly seen locally throughout New South Wales and Victoria
Gang Gang Cockatoo
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With a call that sounds like an old rusty gate, the Gang-gang Cockatoo inhabits Southeastern Australia. Research has shown that this species most likely resembles what the first species of cockatoos looked like. Only the males adorn a bright red head and crest.
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
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With their large size and raucous cries, the Sulphur-crested cockatoo definitely makes its presence known. Often gregarious, this cockatoo can be seen in large groups throughout eastern Australia, New Guinea, and other nearby islands where it has been introduced. Once very popular as pets, recent laws have made it illegal to import the parrots into the U.S.
Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo
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The Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo is usually heard long before it is seen as its haunting calls carry long distances. A very large beautiful bird, it was unfortunately considered a pest and shot in some areas of New South Wales up until the 1940s. 
Galah
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One of the most widespread of the cockatoos in Australia, the Galah is quite a common but beautiful site. They can live quite a long life, some even reaching the age of 80 in captivity.
Gang Gang Cockatoo
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Relatively common in A.C.T. Australia, the Gang-gang has even become an emblem of the state
Red Rumped Parrot
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Sexual dimorphism occurs in this species with the male being much more vibrant and the only one to have a red tail giving rise to its name. Surprisingly their vivid coloring actually acts as a very good camouflage and many who pass by may not even notice them if they stay motionless in the grass. 
Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo
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One can often tell if there are YT black cockatoos in the area by searching in pine forests and noticing the many remains of eaten pine cones. One also has to take care when standing beneath feeding cockatoos as they frequently knock pine cones out of the trees, some of which may be rather heavy.
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
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Often when alarmed or excited these cockatoos will raise their beautiful vibrant yellow crest feathers as this one has done.
Eastern Rosella
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Belonging to the rosella family, the Eastern rosella is responsible for the name rosella. European settlers named it the Rosehill parakeet after the locality they observed it in, Rose Hill (Paramatta), New South Wales. The name then morphed into Rosehiller and eventually shortened to Rosella.
Galah
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The Galah is a favorite food of the Wedge tailed eagle and one can find the remains of several dozen of the poor birds around an eagle nest site.
King Parrot
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The striking vivid red plumage of the male of this species is quite the sight. It prefers the more heavily forested areas of Eastern Australia and tends to be a bit more reclusive than some of the other parrots.
Rainbow Lorikeet
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Despite the beauty these birds can bring to a backyard or garden, they can be quite destructive to crops and become a pest.
Australian Ringneck
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With the introduction of Rainbow lorikeets to Western Australia, this species has had to compete for nesting sites. This has led to culls of the now wild lorikeets in order to give the naturally occurring Ringnecks a fighting chance. It shows the problems that can arise from the introduction of any species to a non native habitat.
Crimson Rosella
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A very common parrot, the Crimson Rosella has taken a fondness to human habitation and can be seen in high traffic areas as well as more wild forests. As the birds mature they slowly trade their green plumage for the crimson color. It is because of this that individual birds may look strikingly different from one another.
Green Rosella ( Tasmanian Rosella)
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Endemic to the island of Tasmania, this rosella is the largest of the rosellas. Like other rosellas , the female is fed by the male as she incubates the eggs.

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Author: Michael Jerrard

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