Mulga Parrot - Habitat Breeding Subsppecies Diet and Foraging

Mulga Parrot


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974 shares, 1559 points

Identification

Mulga Parrot 27–28 cm; 53–70 g. Predominantly bright green, but with the yellow frontal band, red hind crown, yellow lesser wing-coverts, dark blue on outer wing-coverts, blackish primaries, belly  to undertail-coverts 

Mulga Parrot

Mulga Parrot

yellow with orange markings 

MulgaParrot

Mulga Parrot

 

, yellowish-green band and red patch on rump and upper tail-coverts respectively, tail dark blue washed green, outer feathers blue-tipped white. Female much drabber olive-green, becoming paler on belly 

Mulga-Parrot

Mulga Parrot

 

, with red lesser wing-coverts 

Mulga Parrots

Mulga Parrot

 

; pale underwing stripe. Immature 

Mulga-Parrots

Mulga Parrot

like female but duller.

Systematics History

Forms exsul and ethelae are considered undiagnosable. Monotypic.

Subspecies

Monotypic.

Distribution

SC Australia from extreme W to interior SE.

Habitat

Lightly wooded grasslands, mallee, arid scrublands, with range largely coincident with that of mulga Acacia aneura, albeit in no strict association; often in the vicinity of waterholes and seasonal creeks.

Movement

No large-scale seasonal movements occur, with some pairs visiting nest-sites throughout the year. However, some nomadism may occur, if unexplained declines in certain areas prove to reflect natural displacements rather than man-caused disappearances.

Diet and Foraging

Seeds of grasses, herbs, trees, and shrubs, including mulga and A. tetragonophylla, mistletoe Amyema murrayi, the saltbushes Atriplex vesicaria, and Enchylaena tomentosa, chickweed Cerastium glomeratumChenopodiumKochiaBassiaErodium, and Lysiana exocarp; small grubs once recorded.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Commonest call is a sharply up slurred whistle, “huweet!”, either repeated at regular intervals or in fast series. When perched, also utters soft contact calls, mainly short and guttural.

Breeding

Jul–Dec, but nesting extends virtually throughout the year if conditions are favorable. Nest in hollow limb or hole in the tree, high up when tall trees available, but frequently in small, stunted trees, once in a sandbank and once in metal pipes used as posts. Eggs  4–7, usually 5; incubation lasts 19 days; nestling period c. 4 weeks.

Conservation Status

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Locally common; uncommon in SW Australia. Although some decline in numbers may have occurred since European settlement, there is no evidence of a contraction of range.


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