Norfolk Island Green Parrots aka Norfolk Parakeets, Tasman Parakeets or Norfolk Island Red-crowned Parakeets
The Norfolk Island Green Parrot (Cyanoramphus cookii) is also known as Norfolk Parakeet, Tasman Parakeet or Norfolk Island Red-crowned Parakeet.
The Norfolk Island Green Parrot was once considered a subspecies of the Red-fronted Parakeet of New Zealand. It is now treated as a distinct species (Juniper and Parr 1998; McAllan and Bruce 1988; Sibley and Monroe 1990) as a phylogenetic study reported a high degree of genetic divergence between it and other Cyanoramphus. It has been suggested that the Lord Howe Island Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae subflavescens) be included with the Norfolk Island Green Parrot (Christidis and Boles 2008); however, further taxonomic investigation is required.
Distribution / Status
The Norfolk Parakeet is endemic to Norfolk Islands, which is located between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia in the Tasman Sea. It usually nests in tree cavities, mostly in ironwood (Nestegis apetala).
This species is threatened by habitat loss due to clearance of forests before 1950, for timber, agriculture and pasture. Nest-site availability has been further reduced by competition with introduced Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans). Most known nest failures have resulted from predation by introduced black rats. Feral cats are also thought to be significant predators. The Psittacine Circoviral Disease (PCD) also resulted in some mortality.
The range of this species is now limited to the Norfolk Island National Park and surrounding areas. This park encompasses 465 ha (12% of Norfolk Island land).
In 1994, only 4 breeding females and 28-33 males were recorded. However, in 2006–07, the Norfolk Island Green Parrot population had rebounded and was estimated at more than 200 individuals, and perhaps as many as 400 individuals due to conservation efforts. There were at least six breeding pairs (R. Ward 2007, pers. comm.).
The Norfok Parakeets average 12 inches or 31 cm in length (including its tail). Their wing length is 5 – 6 inches or (130 – 150 mm).
The plumage is mainly green except for the red crown and frontal band, as well as a a red stripe across each eye. It has blue edging on the wings and a small patch of red on either side of the rump. Adults have red eyes. The beak is flesh-colored..
Sexes similar, but the males are slightly larger. Females also have a smaller red forehead and forecrown patches, and a smaller, narrower bill.
Juveniles are similar to the adults, but have brown eyes, their green plumage is duller and the red coloring is less extensive (Forshaw 1981; Higgins 1999).
Similar Species: It looks like the Red-crowned Parakeet, except it’s larger.
Their principal call is a loud kakakaka.
They are usually observed in pairs or small groups in treetops or on outer branches of bushes outside the breeding season. Pairs may remain alone throughout year, but these parakeets usually form small flocks.
They often forage on or near the ground. They gather at springs and water holes on islands with limited water supply to drink and bathe. Occasionally flocks fly to neighboring islands to forage.
They are fairly approachable.
Diet / Feeding
They feed on leaves, buds, flowers, shoots, seeds, fruit, berries, nuts and other parts of both native and introduced trees and shrubs. This species is restricted to the forest, but visits orchards to feed on soft fruit.
They also eat insects and animal remains. On islands and In coastal areas, they forage on seaweed and mussels.
They also take up tiny stones, most likely to help with digestion.
Scientific: Cyanoramphus cookii aka Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae cookii … English: Norfolk Parakeet … Dutch: Norfolk Eiland Kakariki … German: Norfolk Ziegensittich … French: Perruche de Cock … CITES I – Protected Species
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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