Regent Parrot


Regent Parrot

Polytelis anthopeplus Scientific name definitions

  • LC Least Concern
  • Names (14)
  • Subspecies (2)

Identification

40 cm; mean 114 g. Bill pinkish red; head  pale yellowish olive, shading to dark olive on mantle  , back 

© Arthur GrossetAdelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia 23 Sep 2013

and scapulars; underparts  , rump and lesser and median wing-coverts 

© Arthur GrossetAdelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia 23 Sep 2013

bright yellow  ; remainder of wing blackish 

© Josep del HoyoMildura, Victoria, Australia 29 Oct 2009Macaulay Library ML 205080671eBird S64821106

except for broad red band on inner secondary coverts 

© David and Kathy CookUnincorporated SA, South Australia, Australia 26 Oct 2013Macaulay Library ML 205733291eBird S65132376

and red tips to inner secondaries; tail blue-black. Female duller 

© David and Kathy CookUnincorporated SA, South Australia, Australia 26 Oct 2013Macaulay Library ML 205733301eBird S65132375

and much greener  . Immature similar. Race monarchoides has less olive head and breast 

© Peter WaandersLoxton Waikerie, South Australia, Australia 26 Nov 2008Macaulay Library ML 205482401eBird S65106862

.

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 parapatric species-pair with P. swainsonii. E race erroneously listed as nominate in past, with W birds placed in race westralis; with correction of type locality (1), latter becomes a junior synonym of nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies


SUBSPECIES

Polytelis anthopeplus anthopeplus Scientific name definitions

Distribution

SW Australia.


SUBSPECIES

Polytelis anthopeplus monarchoides Scientific name definitions

Distribution

interior W part of SE Australia (SE South Australia, SW New South Wales and NW Victoria).

Distribution

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.

Habitat

In SE Australia, flooded-zone Eucalyptus woodland  and adjacent arid mallee scrublands, with breeding always taking place within 20km of mallee or cultivated land; in SW, most types of wooded land including partly cleared areas in dense coastal forest.

Movement

Northward post-breeding dispersal in SE Australia, while in SW there is evidence of seasonal (commoner May–Dec than Jan–Mar), irruptive and nomadic behaviour, apparently depending on regularity of rains, with certain well-watered core areas being occupied year-round.

Diet and Foraging

In SE of range formerly fed extensively on seeds of native hops Dodonaea attenuata and D. viscosa, now much reduced by human settlement; still feeds primarily in mallee, on seeds of EucalyptusAcacia, grasses (five wild Poaceae recorded) and herbaceous plants (five Asteraceae, four Chenopodiaceae, two Cucurbitaceae, two Dilleniaceae), plus fruits (e.g. Ficus and Amyema mistletoe), leaf buds, blossoms and green shoots; also wheat and cultivated fruits, thus sometimes a crop pest in fields, vineyards and orchards.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Commonest vocalization is a rolling, grating “currack”, typically repeated by all members of a flock (similar to P. swainsonii but sounding slightly harsher).

Breeding

Aug–Jan, also May. Usually in small loose colonies of up to 67 pairs; of 57 nests in one study, 45 were within 150 m of another nest. Nest  in often deep hollow 

© Nicholas TalbotHindmarsh, Victoria, Australia 05 Oct 2012Macaulay Library ML 205598611eBird S65117501

in main trunk of tree  , commonly salmon gum (Eucalyptus salmonophloia) and wandoo (E. wandoo) in SW Australia, E. camaldulensis in SE; hole always above 4 m, and sites always within 5 km of blocks of mallee. Eggs  4–6; incubation lasts 21 days; nestling period c. 6 weeks.

Conservation Status

Conservation status on BirdlifeLC Least Concern

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Now very uncommon in SE Australia, retreating before clearance of mallee for agriculture, but abundance in fact initially increased in SW as a result of human occupation of the wheatbelt, with flocks of up to 100 reported. However, substantial decline since 1940s throughout the wheatbelt, probably as a result of loss of nest-sites, possibly compounded by an open season in five shires of Western Australia  to control numbers invading croplands; recent signs of increasing numbers. Poor regeneration of nest-trees is certainly a long-term cause for concern; the species needs large, old gums near water, and additionally these must be acceptably close to feeding habitat. Competition for nest-sites with feral honey bees appears not to be significant, but there is some overlap in site preference. In SE Australia, roadkills while taking spilt grain common, and occupation of nests by feral bees problematic.


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