Papuan King-Parrot

Papuan King-Parrot


36 cm; 138–190 g. Similar to A. amboinensis but hindcrown and nape deep blue, mantle and scapulars black, lesser and median wing-coverts greenish yellow forming large wing patch. Female has head, back, wings and underwing-coverts oil green, breast the same with reddish edges; tail green above, blackish distally. Immature like female but without reddish edges on breast, bill brownish. Race callopterus restricts blue above mantle to narrow nuchal band; moszkowskii male and female like male callopterus, female with mantle and back oil green.

Systematics History

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.Forms a species-pair with A. amboinensis. Females of moszkowskii have male-type plumage (at least 3), but the subspecies is not otherwise known to differ from the others; study needed. Form wilhelminae (from Kaparé R, in W New Guinea) is included within callopterus. Three subspecies recognized.



Alisterus chloropterus moszkowskii Scientific name definitions

A. c. moszkowskii+1


N New Guinea from E Geelvink Bay to C North Coastal Ranges.


Alisterus chloropterus callopterus Scientific name definitions


WC New Guinea from Weyland Mts to W Central Highlands.


Alisterus chloropterus chloropterus Scientific name definitions

A. c. chloropterus+1


E New Guinea E from E Central Highlands.


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.


Shaded interior of hill rain forest, middle storey to lower canopy; less commonly in monsoon forest and second growth up to c. 2300 m, and occasionally higher or down at sea-level.


Apparently sedentary.

Diet and Foraging

Berries, small seeds of composites, Casuarina fruit.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Commonest vocalization a repeated clear metallic whistle, e.g. “kwee…kwee…kwee”, either downslurred or upslurred. Also a piercing “keee!” and a scolding “shek…shek..” in flight.


No clear information; gonadal development in Jun and Jul, and a juvenile taken in Sept.

Conservation Status

Conservation status on BirdlifeLC Least ConcernNot globally threatened. CITES II. Generally scarce and in low numbers, though locally common and probably underrecorded owing to highly unobtrusive behaviour; thus in one intensively studied lower-lying area density was estimated at 30 birds/km². A total of 3382 birds were reported in international trade in period 1987–1992, virtually all originating in Indonesia where no population data exist; however, quotas greatly reduced in mid-1990s.

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