Red-crowned Parakeets or Kākāriki

The Red-crowned Parakeets (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) are small, mostly green parrots found in New Zealand.

The species is one of three New Zealand parakeet species known by the M?ori name k?k?riki.

Red-fronted Parakeet

Not to be confused with the Red-crowned Parakeet (Pyrrhura roseifrons) from South America.


Sub-species:

Red-fronted Parakeet, Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae

Distribution

The Red-crowned Parakeet was once widespread across the islands and mainland of New Zealand. It was extremely abundant during the 1880s and irruptions occurred in a number of locations due to their vulnerability to introduced species, particularly stoats, rats and possums.

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    At one time, this species was considered “effectively” extinct on the mainland of New Zealand, although recent records indicate that small groups of them still exist. Some cage escapes / releases or vagrants from offshore island populations have also established themselves.

    The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand’ – B.D. Heather and H.A. Robertson; 2005; 440pp; Viking states as follows: “Common to abundant on many islands free of mammalian predators. Very rare on the mainland.” … “In the North Island, a few are now found in heavy forest of western Northland, the central North Island and the Rushine Range” … “[V]agrants visit bush patches along the eastern coast of Northland from nearby island.”

    For the most part, this species is confined to Stewart Island/Rakiura and a number of offshore islands (such as Kapiti Island, Tiritiri Matangi Island and Matiu/Somes Island) as well as the Kermadec Islands to the north of New Zealand, on the Auckland Islands to the south and the Chatham Islands to the east.

    The two island populations are sometimes afforded subspecific status. They are considered vulnerable by the IUCN and BirdLife International because the remaining populations are highly fragmented.

    According to the Porirua City News (17 November, page 8) published in October 2004, two pairs of Red-crowned Parakeets were seen in the Porirua Scenic Reserve, probably having flown from Kapiti Island.

    Red-crowned Parakeet - yellow mutation

    Description

    They average 27 – 29 cm or 10.5 – 11.6 inches in length and have a wing length of 125-139 mm (5 – 5.5 ins).

    The general plumage is green; yellowish-green to breast, abdomen and under tail-coverts; forehead, crown and stripe extending to behind eye red. They have a red patch to each side of the lower back. The outer webs of the flight-feathers are violet-blue.

    The irises are red. The feet are grey. The bill is a pale bluish-grey with blackish tip.

    Males and females look alike; except males tend to be a little larger and have rounder heads and broader / larger beaks.  However,  this method of gender identification is not exact – especially if it involves under-sized males or mutations.

     Immatures resemble adults, but have less red to the head and reddish-brown irises. Also, the tail is shorter.

    Behavior

    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.

    Red-crowned Parakeet cross

    Red-fronted Parakeet, Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae

    Aviculture

    The Red-crowned Parakeet is common in aviculture and is relatively easy to breed.

    A clutch may consist of 3 up to 9 white eggs, which are incubated for about 20 days.

    Several color mutations are available, including yellow, cinnamon and piebald.

    Captive Breeding, Housing and Care

    Diet / Feeding

    Red-crowned Parakeets feed on leaves, buds, flowers, shoots, seeds, fruit, berries, nuts and other parts of plants.

    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.

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      Red-crowned Parakeets, Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae

      Red-crowned Parakeet, Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae

      Calls / Vocalizations

      They have trisyllabic, shrill and soft calls. While feeding a chattering is heard.

      Taxonomy

      The species was once lumped with several other parrots from New Zealand’s outlying islands, New Caledonia and Norfolk Island, but these have now been afforded full species status.

      Species Names

      Scientific: Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae novaezelandiae … English: Red-fronted Parakeet … Dutch: Roodvoorhoofdkakariki … German: Ziegensittich … French: Perruche à front rouge …

      CITES I – Protected Species

      Kakariki InformationKakariki Photo Gallery


      Beauty Of Birds strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please contact us. THANK YOU!!!

      Lord Howe Red-crowned Parakeet, also known as the Lord Howe Red-fronted Parakeet

       

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      Lord Howe Red-crowned Parakeet, also known as the Lord Howe Red-fronted Parakeet.

      *Extinct Species*

      Kakariki: Red-fronted Parakeets

      The Lord Howe Red-crowned Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae subflavescens) – also known as the Lord Howe Red-fronted Parakeet – was a parrot endemic to Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea, part of New South Wales, Australia. It is an extinct subspecies of the Red-crowned or Red-fronted Parakeet.

      It was last recorded in 1869 and is considered extinct since 1870.

      The Lord Howe Island Red-crowned Parakeet inhabited forests, gardens and agricultural lands on Lord Howe Island. It was recorded as occasionally occurring in flocks (Forshaw and Cooper 2002). It was probably non-migratory (sedentary).

      Description

      The Lord Howe Island Red-crowned Parakeet was a medium-sized green parrot, ~ 21–32 cm (12.5 inches) long from head to tip of its tail and had a wing length of 147 – 149 mm (5.75 – 6 ins). Males weighed around 80 grams and females around 70 g.

      The Lord Howe Red-crowned Parakeet was a green parrot with a crimson cap and eye-stripe. The upperparts were bright green with a dark red patch on either side of the rump (usually concealed by the wings when perching) and a blue leading edge to the wings.

      The underparts were bright yellowish-green. The eyes were red and the bill was grey. (Forshaw and Cooper 1981, 2002; Higgins 1999; Hutton 1991)

      Males and females looked alike, except the female was slightly smaller (Higgins 1999).

      Similar Species: It looked like the nominate Red-crowned Parakeet, but had a more yellowish plumage and less extensive red markings on its head. Measurements also indicate that it was slightly larger than the nominate species.

      Diet / Feeding

      Their main diet probably consisted of plant material, such as seeds, fruits, buds and leaves form native trees and shrubs (Hutton 1991). They were considered a pest by the early settlers as they fed on cultivated fruits and vegetables. They may also have eaten invertebrates.

      Extinction

      The main threat to the Lord Howe Island Red-crowned Parakeet was hunting and trapping by settlers. Previously quite common, it was considered a pest and hunted as they foraged on cultivated crops and gardens.

      Its populations had declined to extinction by the mid to late 19th century, and it was last recorded in 1869 (Hindwood 1940).

      There are only two specimens of the Lord Howe Red-crowned Parakeet in existence. They come from the John Gould collection, taken by John MacGillivray in September 1853 on the voyage of HMS Herald, and are held in the British Museum.

      Taxonomy

      The Lord Howe Island Red-crowned Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae subflavescens) is considered a valid subspecies of the Red-crowned Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae, Boon et al. 2001; Christidis and Boles 2008; del Hoyo et al. 1997; Higgins 1999). It has been suggested by some authorities, however, that the subspecies may actually constitute a separate species (McAllan and Bruce 1988), though this has not been scientifically investigated (McAllan et al. 2004).

      Pending molecular analysis, Christidis and Boles (2008) have suggested on biogeographical grounds that the taxon is likely to be most closely related to the Norfolk Island Green Parrot (Cyanoramphus cookii), as either a subspecies of what they have tentatively called the Tasman Parakeet (Cyanoramphus cookii subflavescens), or possibly a full species (Cyanoramphus subflavescens).


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      Kermadec Red-fronted Parakeet

       

      The Kermadec Red-fronted Parakeets (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae cyanurus) are endemic to Kermadec Islands of Macauley, Curtis, Meyer, Napier, Dayrell and Chanter. Formerly, they were also found on Raoul Island, which is the largest and northernmost of the Kermadec Islands located in the South Pacific Ocean.Description

      They resemble the Red-fronted Kakariki aka Red-crowned Parakeets, except at 29 cm or 11.5 inches they are slightly larger. Their plumage is much less yellowish, particularly to the breast and abdomen. The flight feathers are a deeper blue. The tail upperside is blue-green.

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        Behavior

        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.

        Captive Breeding, Housing and Care

        Diet / Feeding

        They feed on leaves, buds, flowers, shoots, seeds, fruit, berries, nuts and other parts of plants.

        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.

        Species Names

        Species: Scientific: Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae cyanurus … English: Kermadec Red-fronted Parakeet … Dutch: Kermadec Roodvoorhoofdkakariki … German: Kermadec Ziegensittich … French: Perruche d’ile Kermadec … CITES I – Protected Species

        Kakariki InformationKakariki Photo Gallery

        Chatham Red-fronted Parakeets

         

        The Chatham Red-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae chatamensis) are endemic to the Chatham Island group, specifically Chatham, Pitt island, South East island, Mangere and Little Mangere.

        On Mangere and Little Mangere they hybridise with the Forbes’ Yellow-fronted Parakeet as a result of increasing deforestation.

        Description

        The Chatham Red-fronted Parakeet resembles the Red-fronted Kakariki aka Red-crowned Parakeets (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae novaezelandiae), but have a bright emerald green facial area. The belly is slightly more yellowish. The feet are grey to dark-grey.

        They average 28 cm or 11 inches in length and have a wing length of 125-140 mm (5 – 5.5 ins).

        Behavior

        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.

        Captive Breeding, Housing and Care

        Diet / Feeding

        They feed on leaves, buds, flowers, shoots, seeds, fruit, berries, nuts and other parts of plants.

        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.

        Species Names

        Species Scientific: Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae chatamensis … English: Chatham Red-fronted Parakeet … Dutch: Chatham Roodvoorhoofdkakariki … German: Chatham Ziegensittich … French: Perruche d’ile Chatham … CITES I – Protected Species

        Orange-fronted or Red-fronted Parakeet, Cyanoramphus malherbi

         

        Tricoloured Parrotfinch Erythrura tricolor

        The Malherbe’s or Alpine Parakeets (Cyanoramphus malherbi) is endemic to the South Island of New Zealand, where it is commonly referred to as the Orange-fronted Parakeet – a name it shares with the Orange-fronted Parakeet or “Half-moon Conure” (Aratinga canicularisa) from Middle America.

        Distribution / Habitat

        The Malherbe’s Parakeet was formerly scattered throughout most of New Zealand, but is now confined to the Nothofagus forest on the South Island of New Zealand. They are found in two valleys in Arthurs Pass National Park and Lake Sumner Forest Park in North Canterbury. 

        Small breeding populations exist in the South Branch Hurunui River valley, the Hawdon River valley, c.25 km apart and the Poulter valley, North Canterbury. In 2004 and 2005, some were sighted in the North Branch of the Hurunui River valley.

        As part of conservation efforts, birds are being translocated to predator-free Chalky Island in Fiordland. Surveys in December 2006 found that translocation to Chalky Island had been successful, with birds breeding and the population expanding.

        Following this success, 25 more birds were released on to Maud Island with successful breeding already recorded.

        Kakariki InformationKakariki Photo Gallery

        Description

        The Malherbe’s Parakeet is from 20 – 23 cm or 7.8 – 9 inches long (including the tail). Males usually weigh between 45 – 55 g; females between 38 – 50 g.

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          The plumage is mostly bright green with a distinctive orange frontal band (from eye to eye). The forecrown is pale lemon-yellow. It has orange patches on each side of the rump. The outer webs of the flight feathers are purple-blue. The bill is blue-grey, tipped with black – with a black cutting edge. The eyes are red.

          Gender id: Males and females look alike; except the hen is slightly smaller with a proportionally smaller bill.

          Juveniles look like adults, but their frontal band is lighter and more indistinct. The lemon yellow crown is less extensive and paler. The tail is shorter for several weeks after fledging. The bill is pale-pink which gradually darkens as the young bird matures. They have darker red-brown eyes.

          Similar Species:

          • The Red-crowned Parakeet (C. novaezelandiae) has a crimson forecrown.
          • The plumage of the Yellow-crowned Parakeet (C. auriceps) is yellow-green. They also have a crimson frontal band. They have a yellow crown. The patches on the sides of the rump (lower back) are orange.
          Malherbe’s Parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi)

          Calls / Vocalizations

          Their calls sound like a repetitive ki-ki-ki-ki, often slightly higher in pitch and more rapid than the calls made by the Yellow-crowned Parakeet.

          Behavior

          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.

          Captive Breeding, Housing and Care

          Diet / Feeding

          They feed on leaves, buds, flowers, shoots, seeds, fruit, berries, nuts and other parts of plants.

          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.

          Status

          The Malherbe’s Parakeets is critically endangered in its natural habitat. After it was declared a separate species in 2001, the number of orange-fronted parakeet plummeted 75 percent. It has become one of New Zealand’s most endangered birds, with less than 50 birds left in the wild. Conservation efforts successfully increased their numbers to ~ 200-300 individuals.

          This species is threatened by the felling of old growth forest, which provided the mature trees which they nested in, by overgrazing of the low bushes which they fed in, and by predation by introduced rats, stoats and cats. Its hole-nesting behavior led to a reduced ratio of females due to nest predation.

          The species forages in low-growing shrubs, which have been subject to overgrazing by cattle, deer and possums.

          Taxonomy

          Since 1974, the Malherbe’s Parakeet was considered a subspecies or color variation of the Yellow-crowned Parakeet (C. auriceps). More recent research has shown that it is a valid species (monotypic). In 2000, Cyanoramphus auriceps was split into C. auriceps, C. forbesi and C. malherbi. In 2001, C. malherbi was officially declared a separate species.

          Species Names

          Scientific: Cyanoramphus auriceps malherbi aka Cyanoramphus malherbi … English: Orange-fronted Parakeet, Alpine Parakeet … Dutch: Oranjevoorhoofdkakariki … German: Orangestirn Laufsittich, Alpensittich … French: Perruche front d’orange … CITES I – Protected Species

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