Painted Tiger Parrot (Psittacella picta)

The Painted Tiger-parrot (Psittacella picta) is endemic to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.


They average 19 cm or 7.5 to 7.6 inches in length (including the tail).

The plumage is generally green; breast and abdomen more yellowish-green; head brownish-red, more greyish-brown on cheeks and ear-coverts; narrow yellow band to sides of neck, in most birds forming a collar; chin, throat and upper breast suffused with blue; back green, each feather edged in black; lower back and upper tail-coverts brownish-red; under wing-coverts yellowish-green; under tail-coverts red; tail underside dirty grey; narrow periophthalmic ring black; iris orange; upper beak is light bluish-grey with pale tip.

Female looks like male, but her breast black with each feather edged with yellow; yellow band to sides of neck absent; cheeks blue.

Immatures as female, but head brown with green edging to feathers.


They can be found in the Wharton and Owen Stanley mountain ranges in southeast New GuineaCITES II – Endangered Species

Species Names

Scientific: Psittacella picta picta … English: Painted Parrot … Dutch: Bruinkoptijgerparkiet … German: Gemalter Bindensittich, Braunscheitelpapagei … French: Psittacelle de peindre à crète rouge brune

Sub-species (including nominate)

Painted Tiger Parrot (Psittacella picta picta – Rothschild 1896)

Mayr’s Painted Tiger Parrot (Psittacella picta excelsa – Mayr und Gilliard 1951)

Lorentz’s Painted Tiger Parrot (Psittacella picta lorentzi – van Oort 1910)


Mayr’s Painted Tiger Parrot (Psittacella picta excelsa – Mayr und Gilliard 1951)


The average length (including tail is 19 cm or 7.5 inches. It looks like nominate species, but the entire head is dark olive-brown. The narrow yellow band restricted to sides of head and not forming collar.

Female look like the nominate hen, but the head is olive-brown; the cheeks are darker blue and the breast is more strongly washed with blue.


They are found in central New Guinea from Ok Tedi area and Star Mountains east to Mount Michael.

Lorentz’s Painted Tiger Parrot (Psittacella picta lorentzi – van Oort 1910)


They average 20 cm (8 ins) in length (including tail).

They look like the nominate species, but are on average slightly larger. The crown and nape (back of the neck) is olive-brown. The sides of the head are bluish-green. The throat is suffused with blue. The lower back and upper tail-coverts are black with yellow edging.

Female as male, but her breast is black, each feather being edged in yellow. They lack the yellow band to the sides of neck and the cheeks are blue.


They are found in the Snow Mountains, Irian Jaya, in Indonesia, in montane forest areas; secondary vegetation and grassy clearings mainly from 2,450 m (8,100 ft) to 3,680 m (12,250 ft). In Ok Tedi they occur at 1,700 m (5,700 ft). In Efogi at only 1,370 m (4,600 ft).

They are rare throughout, only common in localities.

They are usually seen in singly or in pairs. Occasionally, in small groups of up to 6 birds. They prefers foraging in low trees or bushes or on the ground in grassy clearings.

They red plumage is very conspicuous during flight. They appear lethargic when perched up in the trees. They are usually not shy and are approaching when feeding.

Their flight is straight and relatively fast.


They are quiet and are seldom heard. Occasionally a tschi-ziddd sound is heard, but not very loud.

Diet / Feeding

Their natural diet consists of small hard seeds, fruits and berries. They have been observed on Dacrydium conifers.

Photo of author

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