Matomo-Image-Tracker Psittaciformes - Neophema - Scarlet Chested Parrot


Scarlet Chested Parrot - Neophema Splendida - Least Concern

The scarlet-chested parrot (Neophema splendida), known alternately as scarlet-breasted parrot, orange-throated parrot or splendid parrot, is a parrot endemic to central South Australia and inland southern Western Australia. The species is sexually dimorphic; the male has a bright blue face and scarlet chest and yellow underparts, amid overall green plumage, while the female is similar but lacks the red chest. These nomadic parakeets move readily from the Great Victoria Desert region into neighbouring areas. These interruptions are triggered by a search for more favourable conditions. They can survive quite well without access to drinking water, however, as succulent plants help meet much of their fluid requirement. They feed mainly on grass seeds and are most commonly sighted in spinifex.

Description: Measuring 19–21 cm (8 in) in length, this small vibrant and brightly coloured parrot is sexually dimorphic. The male has a scarlet chest, a cobalt blue face, and bright green upperparts. The lower breast and underparts are yellow, and the wing coverts are pale blue. The tail is green, the eyes are brown and the bill is blackish, and legs are brown-grey. The female likewise has a blue face, although the coloration is less extensive, green upperparts and green breast, with yellow underparts. Immature birds are duller versions of their respective adult forms. Males begin to get red plumage on their chest from around two or three months of age, though do not complete their red chest until fifteen to eighteen months old.

The female resembles the female turquoise parrot (N. pulchella) of eastern Australia, but can be distinguished by the blue lores and paler blue wing patch.

The call is a soft twittering, quieter than other members of the genus Neophema.

Distribution and Habitat: The scarlet-chested parrot is sparsely scattered across the dryer southern parts of the Australian continent, from Pingelly, Corrigin and Laverton in Western Australia east across South Australia and into the southern Northern Territory and into far western New South Wales. It has been classified as vulnerable in New South Wales, the dangers highlighted include the harvesting of trees that are potential and actual nesting sites, as larger trees are necessary for suitable hollows, possible trapping for the pet trade, and grazing by stock and feral animals. They inhabit dry Eucalyptus and Acacia scrubland and grassland, including Atriplex and Triodia. True estimates of rarity or abundance are difficult to determine; although the bird is brightly coloured, it is secretive and easily overlooked.

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Page last updated: 1/1/2320

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