Australian King Parrot

Alisterus scapularis


Least Concern

Male Australian king parrots are the only Australian parrots with a completely red head. Females are similar to males except that they have a completely green head and breast. Both sexes have a red belly and a green back, with green wings and a long green tail. King parrots are normally encountered in pairs or family groups.

Although king parrots appear distinctly red and green to humans, when viewed under ultraviolet light, some feathers on the wings appear with a prominent yellow glow. They are rarely seen flying over the canopy of their habitat but instead prefer to weave in and out through the tree trunks below.

King parrots appear to be increasing in abundance in well-treed suburbs, feeding at supplemental feeding stations and fruiting trees. Loss of old-growth eucalyptus trees in urban areas will ultimately affect the number of suitable nesting sites available for the king parrot. We encourage you to protect and plant any native trees you might have in your garden, to increase habitat and breeding sites for this beautiful species.

Habitat ​

​King parrots will inhabit wet eucalypt forests, rainforest, adjacent farmland, and town gardens. They are found along the east coast and ranges of Australia, from northern Queensland to southwestern Victoria.

Diet ​

The king parrot mostly forages in trees for seeds, fruit, blossoms and insects among the foliage and sometimes is found to forage on the ground.

Breeding   ​

Australian king parrots lay their eggs on a bed of decaying wood-dust at the bottom of a tree hollow. Females lay a clutch size of 5 and incubate the eggs for up to 20 days.

  • A male and female pair of Australian king parrots are perched on branches
  • A closeup of a female Australian King Parrot
  • A closeup of a male Australian king parrot
  • Location

    Dark green indicates where the Australian king parrot can be found

    A map of Australia showing where king parrots may be found