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

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. red capped parrot
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    red capped parrot photo
  • An Australian Parrot                                                            (Click on photo to enlarge)
  • Scientific Name: Purpureicephalus spurius
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin: None
  • Origin / Distribution: South western corner of Western Australia
  • Habitat In Wild: Eucalypt forest, wooded areas including their favourite food tree, the marri tree (Eucalyptus calophylla). They will visit cultivated farmland, suburban areas and orchards to feed. Their narrow protruding beak has adapted to extract the seeds of the marri eucalypt.
  • Status In Wild: Secure, as long as their eucalypt food trees are maintained in undisturbed forests.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Secure, but not common.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: 12 - 24 months
  • Adult plumage: attained at about ? months
  • Best breeding years (estimate): 24 months onwards
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. 15 or more years
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Mutations: None
  • Availability: Bird dealers
  • Temperament: The red capped parrot is a very attractive bird. Can be a difficult bird to breed in captivity. Best results are achieved with only one pair per aviary. The adults and young can be "nervous" or "flighty" in the aviary.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $200
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 370 mm (or approx. 14.5 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo above - top right of page. (Click on photo to enlarge).
  3. Weight: Approx. 100 - 130 gms (or approx.  3.5 - 4.6 ozs)
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.

Prefer an aviary and as they are aggressive birds they may cause problems with certain types of birds in adjoining aviaries. Minimum aviary length is about 3 metres, 1 metre wide and 2.1metres high (10 x 3.5 x 7 feet). The maximum aviary length should be about 5 metres (16 feet).

Non-toxic leafy branches, such as eucalypts, 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. The birds will also chew up any blossoms and seed capsules. Natural branches of various diameters, and placed at various angles, can be used for perches. These natural perches will be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced regularly.

The red capped parrot will bathe in the water bowl.

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.

In the wild the red capped parrot feeds on fruits, seeds and some insects.

Aviary diet comprises fruits, vegetables, green leafy vegetables and a good quality parrot mix. The parrot mix can include sunflower, safflower, plain canary seed, some hulled oats and some white millet. As with most other parrots, corn-on-the-cob and apple is a favourite.
Seeding grasses can be offered.
Some birds will consume insects such as mealworm larvae, pupa or beetles.
Commercial parrot pellets can form part of a balanced food intake.

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  450 - 600 mm (or approx. 18 - 24 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. approx. 160 - 200 mm. (or approx. 6.5 - 8 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 160 - 180 mm square (or approx. 6.5 - 7 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. 75 mm (or approx. 3 inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100 mm (or approx  4 inches)
    • A removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
    • Location and 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. These birds do best if the nest is in an area that gives them some privacy.
    • 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.

Extra care must be taken if nest inspections are carried out. With care, nest inspections can be safely carried out with minimal disturbance to the nesting birds and the young.

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 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 1.  Eggs per nest 4 - 5.  Incubation approx. 20- 23 days.  Fledge approx. 5 - 6 weeks.  Independent approx. another 4 - 5 weeks.

For the first 2 weeks only the hen feeds the young.  After that the feeding is shared by both parent birds.

The young can be very flighty and the addition of some leafy branches at the open end of the aviary will help minimize any injuries from crashing into the wire mesh wall. Hessian or shade cloth can be hung on the outer wire wall to achieve a similar effect. These materials can be removed after the young birds learn to stop at the end of the aviary. A young bird flying fast into the open end of the aviary can result in permanent injuries or even death of the young bird.

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 page 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 38 No. 12 Dec 1984 Page 288-292 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 29 No. 5 May 1975 Page 74-76
  • A/A Vol 29 No. 4 Apr 1975 Page 52-54
  • A/A Vol 26 No. 4 Apr 1972 Page 50
  • A/A Vol 13 No 1 Jan 1959 Page 13-14 (Inc colour plate).
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol  4 Issue 8. Apr-May 1991 Page 363-367

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