Norfolk Island Green Parrot

A Norfolk ISland Green Parrot

Photographer credit: Thomas Rowland

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Scientific Name: Cyanoramphus cookii

Size: 27 to 31 cm

What does it look like?

The Norfolk Island Green Parrot, or Norfolk Parakeet, was once considered a subspecies of the Red-fronted Parakeet (Cyanorhamphus novaezelandiae) but was elevated to species level following DNA analysis in the early 2000s. It is primarily green with a blue leading edge to the wings but having a red crown and spot behind the eye.

Where is it found?

Endemic to Norfolk Island.

What are its habitats & habits?

The Norfolk Island Green Parrot primarily occurs in the remnant Norfolk Island Pine tall closed rainforest of the national park as well as in other native vegetation, eucalypt plantations and areas adjacent to native forest. It primarily eats seeds, fruits, flowers and leaves of native and introduced trees and shrubs, including the pine, Ironwood, Norfolk Island Palm and Tea Tree.

Interesting facts

At the time of the first British settlement on Norfolk Island, the species was described as being in destructive plagues of very large flocks that wreaked havoc with planted crops. However by the late 1980’s there were reported to be only 32 birds left, comprising four breeding pairs. Numbers have fluctuated to a few hundred and then back to less than a 100 since. Recent declines have been attributed to nest predation by rats and competition for hollows from the introduced Crimson Rosella, starling and honey bees. A nest monitoring and banding program is underway while a captive breeding program has been established with the hope of reintroducing the birds to Phillip Island. The current estimate of the population is around 400 birds.

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This species features in my book Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots

Front cover of Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots book showing a picture of an Eastern Spinebill

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