Red-rumped parrots in Melbourne

Subject: Red-rumped parrots in Melbourne
From: Peter Higgins <>
Date: Thu, 05 Apr 2001 12:07:35 +1000
Dear Michael, Laurie and all

My guess - summarising quite a bit of data - includes Red-rumped Parrots (RRPs) being historically part of the Melbourne scene (we have local records back to 1949 in a range
of habitats). 
Does anyone know about food preferences ?  A while ago there were postings on Birding-aus about RRPs enjoying introduced Annual Meadow Grass and Cape Weed.  Identifying what pigeons and
doves (Crested, Bronzewing or Spotted) are eating is much harder.
Michael Norris

There is much info. on diet of all species in Volumes 3 (pigeons) and Volume 4 (Red-rumped) of HANZAB. 

In one study in Melbourne (57 observations), dominant item of Red-rumps was leaves of Polygonum aviculare (79% of observations); other observations were seeds and leaves.   In one detailed study of Crested Pigeons near Griffith in NSW (contents of crops of dead birds) dominant items were seeds of Triticum aestivum (47% by volume), and of Paterson's Curse Echium plantagineum (33.4% volume).  In a study of Spotted Turtle-Doves (contents of 466 crops of dead birds from Melbourne, Sydney & Perth), dominant items were seeds of  Rumex (19% frequency), seeds of various lawn grasses (15% frequency), and seeds of Triticum aestivum (41% frequency).  In one study of Common Bronzewing, 86% (by volume) of crops was seeds of Acacia.

There are more details of these studies, other detailed studies and anecdotal records summarized in HANZAB.

Hope this is of some help.

Peter Higgins
Managing Editor, Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds
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