. king parrot
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- An Australian Parrot (Hen
on lower perch)
(Click on photo to enlarge)
- Scientific Name: Alisterus scapularis
- Common Name/s:
KING PARROT, AUSTRALIAN KING PARROT.
- Sub Species in country / area of origin:
2, Alisterus scapularis scapularis and Alisterus scapularis minor.
- Origin / Distribution:
Alisterus scapularis scapularis = East coast
of Australia from North Queensland down to Victoria. Alisterus
scapularis minor = Queensland, Townsville and north of Townsville.
- Habitat In Wild: Prefer densely
forested areas, such as wet sclerophyll forest as well as eucalypt forest
as well as surrounding secondary vegetation. Will use farmland, residential areas, parks and
gardens, to collect food.
- Status In Wild: Secure,
subject to preservation of suitable habitat.
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
- Age To Sexual Maturity: about
3 years of age
- Adult plumage: attained at about
15 - 18
months. Full adult plumage may take up to 3 years.
- Lifespan (estimate): approx.
15 or more
years. Long lived.
- Sexing: Monomorphic
- Mutations: None established.
- Availability: Bird dealers.
Very popular bird due to its attractive colour.
- Temperament: Very popular bird
with a good temperament. Suitable for experienced bird breeders
(not a good beginner's bird). The hens are generally the dominant
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: -
Normal colour (Approx.) $220
- Description Of Adults:
- Length: Approx 420 - 430 mm (or approx 16.5 - 17
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
photo above -
top right of page. (Click on photo to enlarge)
- Weight: Approx. 200 - 230 gms (or approx. 7 - 8 ozs)
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 King Parrot is a large bird and prefer a large aviary. Minimum
aviary length should be 3 metres (10 feet) but an aviary of 5 - 6 metres
(16 - 20 feet) long is ideal. Width 1200 mm (4 feet) x 2100 mm (7
feet) high is
To encourage the pair to breed, the log or nest should be hung in a
sheltered darkened part of the aviary. This is usually at the back
of the aviary under non-transparent roofing material.
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.
Natural diet in the wild includes seeds,
fruits, berries, nuts and blossoms.
In the aviary the King Parrot requires:
Basic seed is Small parrot mix or Budgie mix
with sunflower seed, safflower and plain canary seed. A variety of fruits, nuts, green leafy
vegetables, and a variety of seasonally available vegetables are
essential in a balanced diet. Almonds are commonly used. Corn-on-the-cob is a parrot favourite. Sprouted seed
or soaked seed if available. Soaked mung beans can be offered. Seeding grasses will be eagerly devoured.
Fruits and vegetables can make up
more than 50% of the birds daily food intake. Seasonally available
fruits and vegetables as well as thawed frozen vegetables should be
offered to the birds each day. Vegetables to include green leafy
vegetables such as silverbeet, spinach or endive. Good quality dry dog food can be offered.
Wholemeal or multigrain bread can be offered.
Commercial parrot pellets can form part
of a balanced diet.
A basic overview only. 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 cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the
minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.
All Australian parrots will breed in hollow logs.
- Nesting months:
September/October to January
- Log / Nest-box:
/ depth 900 - 1200 mm (or approx. 36 - 48 inches)
- Log internal
diameter approx. 300 - 400 mm. (or approx. 12 -16 inches)
- Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 250 - 350mm square (or approx.
10 - 14 inches square)
- Diameter of
hole approx. 100 mm (or approx. 4 inches)
- Inspection hole (square or round)
100 - 150mm
(or approx 4 - 6 inches)
- A removable top / lid can be a
useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
- Location and 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.
In the wild the King Parrot will generally choose
vertical or near vertical hollows in which to nest, often in an eucalypt
Timber nest-boxes generally require a
climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Both
logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening about 100mm (about 4 inches) from the top. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole
to be just big enough to squeeze through.
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.
Egg Colour White. Clutch/s
per year 1 or 2. Eggs per nest 4 - 6. Incubation approx.
20 days. Fledge approx. 5 weeks. Independent approx.
another 2 - 3 weeks.
If the parent birds are not going to lay
another clutch, the young are often left with the parent birds, however
if any aggression is shown to the young, the young must immediately be
As with many other parrots, if space
allows, the young birds can be housed beside a breeding pair. The
successful adult breeding pair will educate the young birds on the
social and breeding skills they will need to learn to be a compatible
pair and successful parents.
The hen King parrot is the important
factor in the compatibility of a pair. The hen chooses her partner
so if she does not find the cock bird to her liking, there is little
chance of a successful breeding.
If sufficient young birds are available,
young birds that can choose their own mate usually become more
compatible adults and better breeders than those that have their partner
chosen for them.
Birds that are destined for the pet or
companion bird trade are often removed from the nest at about 3 weeks of
age and hand raised.
It is common practise to place a closed
metal ring on the young bird while it is in the nest.
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.
General References: Refer to references listed on "Book References"
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