Matomo-Image-Tracker Psittaciformes - Pezoporus - Eastern Ground Parrot


Eastern Ground Parrot - Pezoporus Wallicus - Least Concern

The eastern ground parrot (Pezoporus wallicus) of Australia is one of only five ground-dwelling parrots in the world, the others being its closest relatives, the western ground parrot (Pezoporus flaviventris), the extremely rare night parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis), the somewhat closely related Antipodes parakeet (Cyanoramphus unicolor), and the unrelated highly endangered kakapo (Strigops habroptilus) from New Zealand.

The colouration of the three Pezoporus species and the kakapo is similar – yellowish green with darker barring, somewhat reminiscent of the head and back of the wild-type budgerigar. This is not an indication of a true relationship, however, but either adaptation to a particular lifestyle or a feature retained from ancestral parrots; probably the latter as barred plumage is found all over the family, from the tiny tiger parrots to female cockatiels.

When disturbed, a ground parrot flies swiftly just above the ground before dropping back into the vegetation. The presence of the bird is often only revealed by its characteristic dusk and dawn call, a clear whistling sequence of notes which rise in pitch before fading. It is silent in flight.

Description: Up to 30 cm long. Plumage grass green, each feather with black and yellow markings; narrow orange-red band to forehead; head, nape, upper back and breast green, each feather with black shaft marking; feathers of abdomen, thighs and under tail-coverts greenish yellow with black barring; under wing-coverts green; primary coverts green; flight-feathers green with pale stripe across them; underside of flight-feathers with pale yellow wing-stripe; upper-side of tail-feathers green with yellowish striped markings, underside brownish; outer tail-feathers yellow with brownish-black striping; bill grayish brown to horn-colour; cere grayish pink; narrow periophthalmic ring pale grey; iris whitish yellow; longish feet grayish brown; claws not so curved as other parrots.

Immatures as adults, but with slightly duller plumage; orange-red band to forehead absent; head, nape, upper back and breast green, each feather with distinct black shaft markings; tail shorter; iris brown.

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