Parrots are often referred to as flying rainbows because of their many vibrant colours and the king parrot certainly lives up to this tag.
The male bird (cock) has a scarlet head and under parts. Its back and wings are dark green and the wings also have a pale green band. The rump is blue with a long, broad black-blue tail, while the under tail coverts are red with very dark green crescents. Its upper beak is red and the lower part is black.
The head, upper breast and upper parts of the female (hen) are green but they do not always sport the green band on the wings like the cock.
It has a blue rump with a long, broad tail with green crescents and under tail coverts. The upper beak is red and the lower beak is grey. The immature chicks are similar looking to the hen.
This beautiful parrot usually lives in the cooler mountain forests but is also a welcome visitor to many major parks and gardens where it will happily sit on a tourist's outstretched hand to grab some seed.
At your place: Australian King Parrots are always open to eating from a tray and enjoy eating early in the morning, so for best results you should put the seed out late at night or at dawn.
All food and water dishes need to be cleaned regularly to help keep any visiting birds free from disease as they have very sensitive systems (use only mild soaps and rinse off thoroughly). All birds love a bath so a large, shallow dish full of water will also help make your backyard a wild bird haven!
Australian King Parrots are always open to feeding from a tray and giving them a good quality parrot mix such as HARMONY™ Wild Bird Mix should have them dining with you. But patience and persistence is the key.
For a treat, try putting out some fresh fruit and vegetables such as crunchy sliced apple and fresh crisp lettuce.
Call: This beautiful bird has a shrill call that is repeated often while in flight. When resting this call changes to a piping bell-like note.
Personality: King parrots are very wary birds and the slightest noise or disturbance will see them quickly take flight before calling to each other in a loud voice.
In the wild king parrots breed in long, upright logs but nesting boxes provide a suitable alternative. For best results, make sure that the entrance to the nesting box is at least 10 metres off the ground.
A good supply of wood shavings (from untreated timber) will act as nesting material. During the winter these birds migrate from the highlands to coastal plains, then returns to breed from October to January.
The hen usually lays three eggs and incubates them for 20 days. The male does not sit on the eggs but does help feed the chicks once they have hatched.