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Orange Bellied Parrot

Neophema chrysogaster


IUCN REDLIST - Critically Endangered. The Orange-bellied Parrot is just bigger than a Budgerigar, with males and females varying slightly in appearance. The male is a bright grass-green on the head, back and most of the wings, fading to a yellowish-green on throat and breast, to bright yellow to the vent and under the tail. The belly has a bright orange patch, and there is a deep blue band between the eyes, bordered above by a faint blue line. The male also has bright blue on the bend of the wings. The female is duller, with less blue and has a smaller orange belly patch. Both male and females have a greyish-black bill, a dark-brown eye and greyish-brown legs.


This bird was captive and photographed at the Healesville Sanctuary. Orange-bellied Parrots are seen almost exclusively in coastal and sub-coastal areas, preferring peninsulas and islands. Saltmarshes, littoral (shore) heathlands and low scrublands are preferred habitats as well as grassy areas, which can include golf courses. They breed in forests on the west coast of Tasmania dominated by Smithton Peppermints, Eucalyptus nitida, but tend to avoid extensive tracts of temperate rainforest.


This species has an extremely small population and is now known to breed at only one site, where it appears to have undergone an extremely rapid recent decline. Reasons for this recent decline are unclear but a key threat is thought to be fragmentation and degradation of overwintering habitat. It is therefore classified as Critically Endangered. Extinction in the wild has been predicted to take place within 3-5 years, and it is planned for further individuals to be taken from the wild in order to bolster the captive population for captive breeding and eventual release.

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Spotted on Jul 7, 2014
Submitted on Jul 7, 2014

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