Papuan King-Parrot

Papuan King-Parrot

Papuan King-Parrot 36 cm; 138–190 g. Similar to A. amboinensis but the hind crown 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 the mantle to narrow nuchal band; Papuan King-Parrot (Mosakowskii) 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 Papuan King-Parrot have male-type plumage (at least 3), but the subspecies are 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 were recognized.



Alisterus chloropterus moszkowskii Scientific name definitions


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


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 the hill rain forest, a middle story 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

The commonest vocalization of Papuan King-Parrot is a repeated clear metallic whistle, e.g. “kwee…kwee…kwee”, either down slurred or slurred. Also a piercing “keee!” and a scolding “shek…shek..” in flight.


No clear information from Papuan King-Parrot breeding; gonadal development in Jun and Jul, and a juvenile taken in Sept.

SOURCE: Jan Dolphijn

Conservation Status

Papuan King-Parrot

Conservation status on BirdlifeLC Least Concern

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Generally scarce and in low numbers, though locally common and probably underrecorded owing to highly unobtrusive behavior; thus in one intensively studied lower-lying area density was estimated at 30 birds/km².

A total of 3382 Parrots were reported in international trade in period 1987–1992, virtually all originating in Indonesia where no population data exist; however, quotas were greatly reduced in the mid-1990s.

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