Green-winged King Parrots


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    The Green-winged King Parrot or Papuan King Parrot (Alisterus chloropterus chloropterus) are endemic to northeastern New Guinea west to Huon Peninsula and in the south to Hall Sound, Papua.

    This Genus has occasionally been lumped with the Red-winged Parrots (Aprosmictus). It forms a super-species with the Amboina or Amboyna King (Alisterus amboinensis).

    Three subspecies are recognized:

    • Green-winged King Parrot or Papuan King Parrot (Alisterus chloropterus chloropterus – E. P. Ramsay, 1879) – Nominate Species
      • Distribution:  North-eastern New Guinea.


    Adults of both sexes are very majestic birds, typically 36 cm (14 inches) in length, including the long tail.

    The adult males (older than 4 years) are very striking in appearance. Their plumage is mostly red. They have a variable blue band on the nape and upper back. The back and shoulder feathers are greenish-black. They have a pale yellowish-green band on the wing-coverts (not yellow as occasionally wrongly described – this band is a darker – a medium green in the subspecies). The remainder of the wing is dark green. The lower back, the upper tail-coverts and the rump is blue. The under tail-coverts are scarlet with a dark blue base. The upperside of the tail is black strongly tinged with blue. The tail underside is greyish-black.

    They have a reddish-orange upper beak with a black tip and a black lower beak. The irises are orange and the feet are grey.

    These parrots are sexually dimorphic.

    Females are similar in appearance except for a green head, breast, back, wings and under wing coverts. Her breast feathers are edged with brownish-red. They lack the paler shoulder feathers that can be seen in the male. The upper tail is green with black tips. The base of the bill is more brownish than in the male.

    Juveniles of both sexes resemble the females. Young females have less red on abdomen and lower breast; bill brownish-black and their irises of the young are dark.


    Their natural diet consists of seeds, particularly eucalypts and acacias. But they also feed on a great variety of other plants.

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      Calls / Vocalization:

      Their calls are shrill and metallic, which they repeat when in flight or alarmed. While perching, they emit high-pitched, metallic upslurred notes.

      Captive King Parrots

      In their native Australia, they are occasionally bred in aviaries and kept as calm and relatively quiet household pets if hand-raised, but are relatively unknown outside Australia. As pets, they have limited “talking” ability and normally prefer not to be handled, but do bond readily to people and can be very devoted.

      Life expectancy in the wild is unknown, but some pets have been known to live up to 25 years.


      King Parrots are not only incredibly beautiful, but also quiet (except for the occasional shrill sentinel call) and gentle in nature. They are quite different from other parrot species that tend to be noisier, more destructive and more aggressive than they tend to be.

      They are not known to be cuddly birds, but these gentle creatures do become very confiding and have a knack for entertaining themselves. Because they are so quiet and colorful they are very much in demand as aviary birds.

      King Parrots are social birds and do require daily interaction with their flock — be it with other birds in an aviary setting or with their human family. In an aviary setting, they do well even when kept with smaller birds.

      It is important to remember that these parrots require space to accommodate their activities and their long tails. The width is considered more important in the long-tailed species rather than height in a cage — but remember, the biggest cage possible is always the best choice. However, they are best kept in a planted aviary that allows them plenty of room to fly from perch to perch.

      Training and Behavioral Guidance:

      King Parrots are quieter and less destructive than other parrot species. The challenges that you might experience with them maybe poor socialization – in which case patience and time in taming and gaining the trust of the parrot is necessary.

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        Even a young bird that has not been neglected and abused requires proper guidance; this becomes even more challenging when it involves a rescued bird that may require rehabilitation. If they feel cornered, some biting may occur.

        They have some mimicking ability and most of them learn to talk, and their voices are soft and sweet to listen to – similar to the voice of an eclectus parrot.

        Training and behavioral guidance will help your pet be the kind of companion you want it to be …

        • AvianWeb Resources: I put together web resources for you to help you understand your pet bird and properly direct him. Please visit the following website to learn more about parrot behavior and training. If you found a way to resolve a “parrot behavioral issue” please share it with others.

        If you are considering a king parrot as a pet, the following web resources might be of interest:


        Aprosmictus chloropterus E. P. Ramsay, 1879, Goldie River, New Guinea.

        Species: Scientific: Alisterus chloropterus chloropterus … English: Green-winged King Parrot … Dutch: Geelvleugelkoningsparkiet … German: Gelbflügel Königssittich … French: Platycerque choloptère, Royale à ailes vertes … CITES II – Endangered Species

        Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate: moszkowskii, callopterus, chloropterus


        Moszkowski Green-winged King Parrots:

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          Distribution: Northern and Western New Guinea

          Size: They average 36 cm or 14.4 inches in length (including tail).

          Species: Scientific: Alisterus chloropterus moszkowski … English: Moszkowski Green-winged King Parrot … Dutch: Moszkowski Groenvleugelkoningsparkiet … German: Moszkowski Grünflügel Königssittich … French: Platycerque choloptère de Moszkowski … CITES II – Endangered Species

          Salvadori’s Green-winged King Parrots:

          Distribution:Central and Western New Guinea – from Weyland Mountains to Fly River?.

          Size: They average 36 cm or 14.4 inches in length (including tail).

          Species: Scientific: Alisterus chloropterus callopterus … English: Salvadori’s Green-winged King Parrot … Dutch: Goldie Koningsparkiet, Fly River Koningsparkiet … German: Salvadoris Grünflügel Königssittich … French: Platycerque choloptère de Montagne … CITES II – Endangered Species

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