Orange bellied parrot in Sydney ?

Subject: Orange bellied parrot in Sydney ?
From: Bas Hensen <>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 16:03:02 +1000
This morning (12/08/03) 10.15-10.30 AM in heath land just south of Maroubra Beach, Sydney, NSW, a green parrot flew up from the track and posed itself 15 m away in a dry bush, 1/2 m above ground. I am 95 % sure it was a orange-bellied parrot. We looked at it with good binoculars and a 30* scope. It was bright (but not shiny) green on the back, head green, slightly paler, towards yellow around the eye, with a brighter bluegreen spot (?- I did not notice it to be continuous) above/in front of the eye (not very obvious, or as obvious as on illustrations in bird guides. Belly yellow with a big orange spot near the legs. Base of primaries bright blue, only visable when the wing was not completely closed. Shoulder wingcoverts bright green blue. Upper tail green with conspicupous yellow margins, dark central band from underneath. A Nephema parrot no doubt and the very green colour and non-wide blue wing band suggests orange bellied rather than blue winged parrot. Al other feature like colour of legs and beak fit OK.

The bird was silent unfortunately.

The bird was banded on the right leg with a bright sapphire/metallic blue band ( approx.3 mm wide). It was relatively tame ( or a bit confused) but eventually flew away, when a fisherman passed on the track, a shortish distance, and landed out of sight in the dense heath. We left it in peace after that. I can provide more detailed location to a serious birder for further confirmation, but prefer to keep the crowds away from this rarity ( how many left: couple of hundred ?).

Bas Hensen Home tel  (02) 96622302
Bas Hensen
Geology (BEES)
University of New South Wales
Sydney NSW 2052 Australia
Tel (61 2) 93858701
Home(61 2) 96622302
FAX (61 2) 9385

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