Alisterus scapularis Scientific name definitions
- LC Least Concern
- Names (16)
- Subspecies (2)
42–43 cm; 209–275 g. Very similar to A. amboinensis
oil green, inner series of upperwing-coverts pale green
Editor’s Note: This article requires further editing work to merge existing content into the appropriate Subspecies sections. Please bear with us while this update takes place.Two subspecies recognized.
Alisterus scapularis minor Scientific name definitions
NE Australia (NE Queensland).
Alisterus scapularis scapularis Scientific name definitions
E Australia (NC Queensland S to S Victoria).
Editor’s Note: Additional distribution information for this taxon can be found in the ‘Subspecies’ article above. In the future we will develop a range-wide distribution article.
Rain forest , Eucalyptus woodland, dense riparian scrub and occasionally adjacent savanna from sea-level to 1600 m, utilizing these more open habitats outside breeding season, when also visits urban parklands and farm areas.
Notably in S of range flocks descend from mountains in late autumn and remain in lowlands until Sept. Year-round lowland birds appear to be resident once adult, but immatures show undefined movements, forming flocks of up to 30 in autumn. Birds of all ages may congregate at concentrated food resources such as fruiting trees and ripening maize.
Diet and Foraging
Seeds of eucalypts, acacias and Angophora particularly favoured, also of Baloghia lucida, plus fruits and berries of Geijera parviflora, Solanum nigrum, S. auriculatum and Phytolacca octandra, mistletoes, grass seeds, nectar, blossoms and buds. Birds raid orchards, maize and sorghum crops, sometimes taking spilt grain from farmyards, and come into gardens to feed on cultivated Pyracantha, Cotoneaster and Crataegus berries plus Quercus acorns.
Sounds and Vocal Behavior
Commonest vocalization a repeated clear metallic short whistle, e.g. “kee…kee…kee”, either upslurred or even-pitched. Also a repeated piercing “kreet!” and a harsh “krek!” or doubled “chack-chack” in flight. When feeding also gives a quiet guttural cackling.
Sept–Jan. Nest in hollow limb or in deep hole in tall forest tree. Eggs 3–6, usually 5; incubation, by female only, lasts c. 20 days; nestling period c. 5 weeks.
Not globally threatened. CITES II. Generally common but lost from cleared and afforested areas.