. Bluebonnet parrot
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- An Australian Parrot
- Scientific Name: Northiella
- Common Name/s:
BLUEBONNET PARROT, NARETHA BLUEBONNET, RED VENTED BLUEBONNET,
YELLOW VENTED BLUEBONNET.
- Sub Species in country / area of origin:
4 sub-species in the wild. 3 are kept by aviculturalists
= Yellow vented, Red vented, and Naretha.
- Origin / Distribution: Semi arid
(Naretha Bluebonnets were named after their first known location,
namely Naretha in Western Australia.)
- Habitat In Wild: Inhabits open
woodland in semi arid southern Australia.
- Status In Wild: ?
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
Yellow vented - Secure. Red vented - Low. Naretha - Rare.
- Age To Sexual Maturity: about
9 - 12 months.
- Adult plumage: attained at about 6
- Lifespan (estimate): approx. 15 or
- Sexing: Monomorphic
- Mutations: Yes
- Availability: Bird dealers
- Temperament: The Bluebonnet
Parrot can be aggressive
even to larger birds so
they are best kept as one pair per aviary. This aggression lowers
their popularity as an aviary bird. Bluebonnets are capable of
raising the feathers on their forehead.
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: -
Normal colour: Yellow vented (Approx.) $110, Red vented approx
$160, Naretha approx $500.
- Description Of Adults:
- Length: Approx. 300 mm (or approx. 12 inches).
Naretha are smaller.
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
photo/s above if available.
- Weight: Approx. 100 gms (or approx. 3.5 ozs)
The Bluebonnet is the sole member of the
Level Of Knowledge
Required: Beginner /
Intermediate / Advanced /
Specialist Breeders Only.
Government Regulations & By-Laws:
Refer to " Government Laws " web page.
Refer to " Housing Birds "
web page for general details on the housing of Australian Parrots or
read on for specific details for this parrot.
The Bluebonnet Parrot can be aggressive even to larger birds so they
are best kept as one pair per aviary. Double wiring or solid
partitions between adjoining aviaries is recommended.
chew on timber therefore metal frames with strong wire / mesh are
advisable. Recommended aviary size is about 1000 mm wide, 3000 - 4000
mm long and 2100 mm high. (3' x10-13' x 7' high). Bluebonnets do well
with the aviary roof being fully covered with transparent or opaque
corrugated roofing material. Adequate shelter section must be provided
to protect against draughts, strong winds and heavy rains. Perches or
branches placed at both ends of the aviary helps to prevent collisions
or impacts into the ends of the aviary. A concrete floor is
recommended. Bluebonnets spend a lot of time on the ground so care has
to be taken to prevent parasite contamination. Bluebonnets love to
bathe, so make sure wet spots are allowed to dry and the floor is kept
Non-toxic leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up.
This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds
some beak exercise. Natural branches of various diameters, and placed at
various angles, can be used for perches. These
natural perches may be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced
regularly. The birds may chew any flowers and fruiting
bodies on the branches.
Diet / Feeding: Refer to " Feeding Birds "
web page for general details on the feeding of Australian Parrots or
read on for specific details for this parrot.
In the wild the Bluebonnet parrot consumes a wide range of
seeds of grasses, shrubs and trees, herbaceous plants as well as nuts,
berries, wide range of fruits and vegetable matter. Insects and insect larvae
may form part of their natural diet.
Aviary birds require a balanced mix of fruits,
vegetables, green leafy vegetables as well as a quality seed mix.
In the aviary these birds need a quality
"small parrot mix" or "budgie seed mix" supplemented with plain canary
seed and small amount of sunflower seed. Seeding grasses along
with some leafy green vegetables such as silverbeet, spinach or endive.
A variety of fruits e.g. apple, pear, orange and a variety of seasonally
available vegetables should be offered as part of their daily food
intake. Sprouted or soaked seed can be offered. Some birds
will consume insects such as mealworms, especially if they have young in
the nest. The mealworm larvae, pupa and beetle can be offered.
The insects provide a good source of easily digested protein.
Commercial parrot pellets may form part
of a balanced food intake.
A basic overview only.
All Australian parrots will breed in hollow logs.
Dimensions are typical / average and
can vary widely, influenced by the owner's preferences and the birds
preferences. Parent bird's preferences can also be influenced by
the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared.
If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their
own choice. Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and
been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season.
Try and keep that one for their exclusive use. Once a pair has
chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed.
If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight,
ensure the log / nest-box is carefully cleaned to ensure it has
minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.
If a valued pair
of birds is successful in a specific size/style nest-box and that nest-box has to
be replaced for some reason, make or purchase one as close as possible to the same
style, materials and size as their original one.
- Nesting months:
July/August to December
- Log / Nest-box:
/ depth 500 - 600 mm (or approx. 20 - 24 inches)
diameter approx. 150 - 200 mm. (or approx. 6 - 8 inches)
Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 150 -
mm square (or approx. 6 - 8 inches square)
hole approx. 50 - 65 mm (or approx. 2 - 2.5 inches)
Inspection hole (square or round)
(or approx. 4 inches)
A removable top / lid can be a
useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
Location & height
of log / nest-box = in a sheltered part of the aviary and at about
1.5 - 1.8 metres height, but not too close to the roof to cause heat
problems in the hotter months.
- Angle of log or nest box = 45 degrees through to
- Nesting log / nest-box material: Decomposed non-toxic saw
dust, wood shavings or other suitable material/s.
- Who incubates the egg/s:
Hen / cock / both share.
More details on
parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of
parrot nestbox/log photos
can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests"
and "parrot nestbox photos"
web pages. Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests"
and "parrot nestbox photos" in
the navigation bars.
generally require a climbing structure attached inside the box below the
entrance hole. Both logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening
of about of about 50- 65 mm (about 2 - 2.5 inches) diameter and about 100 mm
(about 4 inches) from the top. Bluebonnets like the entrance hole to be
just big enough to squeeze through.
Egg Colour White. Clutch/s
per year 1. Eggs per nest 4 - 6. Incubation approx.
20 - 24 days. Fledge approx. 4 - 5 weeks. Independent approx.
another 3 - 4 weeks.
Young Bluebonnets should be removed to another
aviary as soon as they are fully independent due to possible aggression from
one or both parent birds.
Breeding pairs of Bluebonnets develop strong pair-bonds. To obtain compatible
adult pairs it is best to start with many young birds, place them in a
large aviary and let them choose their own partner. As they choose
a partner, isolate that "pair" and place them in an aviary of their own.
Allow them to fully sexually and physically mature before allowing them
to breed. Hens should be at least 12 months of age before breeding
to obtain the best long term breeding results.
The four types of Bluebonnets can hybridize with each other as well
as some other species of parrots. Hybrids should not be allowed to
occur in captive populations. Accidental hybrids should be hand tamed
upon leaving the nest and sold as pets .(i.e. Never to be used as
breeders.) Only house one type of bluebonnet per flight.
Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not
be covered on this web site. It is too complex and diverse in nature to
be attempted here.
Refer to "Avian Health Issues"
web page for information and references.
- Worming and parasite control and Quarantine
requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to
require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web
site. Refer "Avian Health Issues"
web page option.
- Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep
updating your knowledge and skills.
Refer to references listed on "Book References"
- Australian Aviculture
- A/A Vol 51 No. 12 Dec 1997 Page 274-278 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 48 No. 8 Aug 1994 Page 185-186
- A/A Vol 47 No. 7 July 1993 Page 157-164 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 46 No. 1 Jan 1992 Page 7-15
- A/A Vol 41 No. 8 Aug 1987 Page 187-188
- A/A Vol 31 No. 7 Jul 1977 Page 96
- A/A Vol 30 No. 6 Jun 1976 Page 99-101
- A/A Vol 30 No. 5 May 1976 Page
- A/A Vol 30 No. 2 Feb 1976 Page
- A/A Vol 22 No 5 May 1968 Page 81-86 (Inc colour plate).
- A/A Vol 8 No 8 Aug 1954 Page 92-94 (Psephotus family).
- A/A Vol 6 No 12 Dec 1952 Page 148,144.
- A/A Vol 6 No 7 Jul 1952 Page 82.
- Australian Birdkeeper
- ABK Vol 13 Issue 4. Aug-Sept 2000 Page 210-213 (Naretha).
- ABK Vol 11 Issue 2. Apr-May 1998 Page 69-71
- ABK Vol 3 Issue 1. Feb-Mar 1990 Page 7-10
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