Golden Shouldered Parrot - Psephotellus Chrysopterygius - Endangered
The golden-shouldered parrot (Psephotellus chrysopterygius) is a rare bird of southern Cape York Peninsula, in Queensland, Australia. A small parrot related to the more common red-rumped parrot, it is considered to be a superspecies with the hooded parrot (P. dissimilis) of the Northern Territory and the apparently extinct paradise parrot of Queensland and New South Wales.
Description: The golden-shouldered parrot is 23–28 cm long and weighs 54–56 g. The adult male is mainly blue and has a characteristic yellow over the shoulder area. It has a black cap and pale yellow frontal band. It has an extended dark salmon pink lower belly, thighs and undertail-coverts. It has a grey-brown lower back.
Adult females are mainly dull greenish-yellow, and have a broad cream bar on the underside of the wings. The head in older females has a charcoal grey cap. The feathers of the vent area are a pale salmon pink. Juveniles are similar to the adult female though newly fledged males have a brighter blue cheek patch than females of the same age.
Habitat: The golden-shouldered parrot lives in open forested grassland liberally populated by numerous termite species and their mounds. Often these mounds are found every few metres apart. The parrot feeds on the seeds of small grass species and several months of the year, principally those prior to the onset of the wet season, the birds are almost entirely dependent on the small but plentiful seed of firegrass (Schizachyrium fragile). An important habitat requirement is the presence of suitably sized terrestrial termite mounds, in which the birds nest. This has led to the Golden shouldered parrot and its relatives being known as the antbed parrots.