Unknown Parrot

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Unknown Parrot
From: Mike Owen <>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 08:36:14 +1000

On 29/11/2010 10:01 PM, michael norris wrote:

One is OK - but that is potential half of a breeding pair. They have not really got away in Australia yet - but we have to return them to sympathetic vets etc. as soon as possibe. If they get away it could be devastating to hole-nesting birds.

Michael Norris


Ringnecks are believed to have been kept in Australia since the late 19th Century. The first ones were undoubtedly wild caught and probably wild caught imports continued to arrive until importation of exotic birds was stopped in the 1950's. From that time the birds available have been aviary bred.

Ringnecks are the most commonly kept exotic parrot, with current captive population thought to be well over 500,000 throughout Australia. The majority bred these days are colour mutations rather than the wild green colour. They can be a long lived bird - the oldest authenticated I have heard about died at 68 years, and he was still breeding at 67.

It is reassuring that in spite of these very large numbers, and the regular escape of birds over many decades, they have never established a viable breeding population as they have in Europe. The reasons are probably firstly that Europe continued to allow wild caught imports well into the 1990's, and that the wild populations were derived from escaped wild caught birds - domesticated birds have very poor survival skills in the wild. And secondly in Europe there are no real competitors for nest hollows, in Australia there are plenty of parrots that will out compete a Ringneck for a nest site - A Rainbow Lorikeet will always win in an argument with a Ringneck.

So, while any escaped ones should be removed form the wild, the chances of them becoming a pest as in Europe is negligible


Sunshine Coast.

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