Princess Parrot
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. princess parrot
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    princess parrot photo
  • An Australian Parrot                                   (Click on photo to enlarge)
  • Scientific Name:  Polytelis alexandrae
  • Sub Species:  None
  • Origin / Distribution:  Interior of central and western Australia.
  • Habitat In Wild:  Nomadic species.  Various habitats including desert to mountain ranges.  Feeds on the seeding heads of Spinifex plants.
  • Status In Wild:  Rare
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Secure but pure normal colour birds are becoming harder to find.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  about 12 months.
  • Lifespan (estimate):  approx. 15 or more years
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Mutations:  Yes, including blue and yellow.
  • Availability:  Bird dealers
  • Temperament:  Good beginner's bird.  Reliable breeders.  Can have multiple pairs in a large aviary.  They can be noisy birds.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $100
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 400 mm (or approx. 16 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo above - top right of page. (Click on photo to enlarge).
  3. Weight: Approx. 100 - 120 gms (or approx  3.5 - 4.25 ozs)
The Princess parrot is a member of the POLYTELIS genus along with the Regent and Superb parrot.

Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws:  Refer to " Government Laws " web page.

Housing Requirements:  Refer to " Housing Birds " web page for general details on the housing of Australian Parrots or read on for specific details for this parrot.

Princess Parrots can be housed in a wide variety of sizes of aviaries.  Although they are best bred as one pair per flight, they seem to breed better if they can see or hear another pair or pairs of Princess parrots.  An aviary of 4 metres (12 feet) long is considered the minimum to adequately house these birds.

Have been successfully bred as a colony of  3 - 5 pairs in a large aviary.

Non-toxic leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up. This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds some beak exercise. Natural branches of various diameters, and placed at various angles, can be used for perches. These natural perches may be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced regularly. The birds may chew any flowers and fruiting bodies on the branches.

Diet / Feeding:  Refer to " Feeding Birds " web page for general details on the feeding of Australian Parrots or read on for specific details for this parrot.

Princess Parrots require a quality Parrot mix and a variety of fruits such as apple and orange as well as a variety of vegetables - corn, silverbeet.  Greenfoods and green leafy vegetables should be offered.  Seeding grasses if available.  Soaked or sprouted seed if available.

Dry commercial pellet feeds are becoming available and may be part of a balanced diet.

Some birds will consume insects such as mealworms, especially around breeding season.  Insects will provide the adult birds and young with a good source of easily digestible protein.  Insects can be fed to these birds on a daily basis.

Nesting:  A basic overview only.  Dimensions are typical / average and can vary widely, influenced by the owner's preferences and the birds preferences.  Parent bird's preferences can also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared.  If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice.  Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season.  Try and keep that one for their exclusive use.  Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed.  If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest box is cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.

All Australian parrots will breed in hollow logs.

  • Nesting months: September to December
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth  600 mm (or approx. 24 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 200 - 225 mm. (or approx. 8 - 9 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 200 - 225 mm square (or approx. 8 - 9 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. 65 - 75 mm (or approx.  2.5 - 3 inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100 - 150mm (or approx  4 - 6 inches)
    • A removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
    • Location & height of log / nest-box = in a sheltered part of the aviary and at about 1.5 - 1.8 metres height, but not too close to the roof to cause heat problems in the hotter months.
    • Angle of log or nest box =  45 degrees through to vertical.
  • Nesting log / nest-box material: Decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable material/s.
  • Who incubates the egg/s: Hen / cock / both share.

Timber nest-boxes generally require a climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Both logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening of about 65 - 75 mm diameter and about 100 mm (about 4 inches) from the top. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole to be just big enough to squeeze through.

More details on parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of parrot nestbox/log photos can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" in the navigation bars.  

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year  2.  Eggs per nest  4 - 6.  Incubation  approx. 20 days.  Fledge approx  5 weeks.  Independent approx. another 3 weeks.

When breeding to produce a particular colour mutation, the placing of a closed metal leg ring on each young Princess parrot will be essential.  This also applies if the pure "normal" coloured birds are being bred.  If you have not placed a leg ring on a young bird, seek advice and instruction from an avian veterinarian or experienced breeder who leg rings their birds.

Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.

Health Issues:  Refer to "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site.  Refer "Avian Health Issues" web option.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace.  Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol 55 No. 4 Apr 2001 Page 79-80
  • A/A Vol 49 No. 4 Apr 1995 Page 83-89
  • A/A Vol 45 No. 6 Jun 1991 Page 145-149
  • A/A Vol 45 No. 5 May 1991 Page 127-128
  • A/A Vol 44 No. 5 May 1990 Page 128
  • A/A Vol 44 No. 4 Apr 1990 Page 90-92
  • A/A Vol 42 No. 12 Dec 1988 Page 293-294
  • A/A Vol 42 No. 11 Nov 1988 Page 283-285
  • A/A Vol 41 No. 8 Aug 1987 Page 191-196
  • A/A Vol 41 No. 4 Apr 1987 Page 93-98 (Inc photo - blue)
  • A/A Vol 38 No. 6 Jun 1984 Page 128-133
  • A/A Vol 35 No. 2 Feb 1981 Page 36-40
  • A/A Vol 31 No. 12 Dec 1977 Page 171-172
  • A/A Vol 31 No. 10 Oct 1977 Page 143 (Syd Smith nest design)
  • A/A Vol 31 No. 4 Apr 1977 Page 47-48
  • A/A Vol 31 No. 4 Apr 1977 Page 50-53
  • A/A Vol 28 No. 9 Sept 1974 Page 148-149
  • A/A Vol 28 No. 8 Aug 1974 Page 128-130
  • A/A Vol 28 No. 7 Jul 1974 Page 108-111
  • A/A Vol 21 No 5 May 1967 Page 72-74.
  • A/A Vol 21 No 1 Jan 1967 Page 7-8.
  • A/A Vol 18 No 11 Nov 1964 Page 156, 160.
  • A/A Vol 15 No. 6 Jun 1961 Page 82-84, 88 (Part 2).
  • A/A Vol 15 No. 5 May 1961 Page 66-68 (Part 1).
  • A/A Vol  7 No 1 Jan 1953 Page 5-7.
  • A/A Vol  6 No 3 Mar 1952 Page 34-35.
  • A/A Vol  5 No 2 Feb 1951 Page 27.
  • A/A Vol  3 No 9 Sept 1949 Page 92-94.
  • A/A Vol  3 No 4 Apr 1949 Page 30.
  • A/A Vol  2 No 6 Jun 1948 Page 51-52.
  • The Bulletin No 19, May 1944 Page 7 (Cuckoo story).
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 14 Issue 10. Aug-Sept 2001 Page 570-577.
  • ABK Vol 14 Issue 8. Apr-May 2001 Page 462-463 (White Princess).
  • ABK Vol 13 Issue 4. Aug-Sept 2000 Page 215
  • ABK Vol 10 Issue 11. Oct-Nov 1997 Page 527-529
  • ABK Vol  9 Issue 3. Jun-July 1996 Page 136-137
  • ABK Vol  2 Issue 12. Dec-Jan 1990 Page 478-483 (Suspended Cages)
  • ABK Vol  2 Issue 9. Jun-July 1989 Page 324-328

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