birding-aus Red-rumped parrots: urban diet

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: birding-aus Red-rumped parrots: urban diet
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 10:39:35 +1000
A pair of red-rumped parrots has been around one of our local golf
courses (at Elsternwick) for 10 weeks: very unusual on my patch.

I'm feeling rather parental about them and am worried they are finding
it hard to get enough food so I'd be very grateful for any suggestions
about what plants should be encouraged. I've seen them feeding on shoots
on a cedar (Deodara?) and probably on a sugar gum and often on the
ground, probably eating seeds on plantains and annual meadow grass.
(Almost all the local vegetation is exotic, with exceptions being some
gum trees, macrophytes by ponds and a bit of senicio that the parks and
golf course staff have failed to destroy. The parrots have perched in
plane trees but did not follow the example of the eastern rosellas
feeding on the seed balls.)

My books say they eat grass seed and also gum blossom (here dominated by
noisy miners, red wattlebirds and rainbow lorikeets) so one thing I'll
try to do is to persuade "them" to raise the mower blades a bit to leave
some grass seed.

But do the parrots eat cape weed/daisy seeds (the parks people plan to
destroy any they can find in a month or two) ?

Any ideas would be very welcome.

Michael Norris
Friends of Native Wildlife, Bayside, Melbourne

PS. Yesterday recorded musk lorikeets feeding on tree lucerne (probably
nectar) for the first time.

PPS. Nigel - OK but what should be planted to replace the elms ?

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