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

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. red rumped parrot
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  • An Australian Parrot
  • Scientific Name:  Psephotus haematonotus
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  2. (nominate = P. h. haematonotus and P. h. caeruleus )
  • Origin / Distribution:  South-eastern Australia. From Eastern South Australia to southern Queensland. 
  • Habitat In Wild:  Timbered areas and farmland through to suburban gardens.
  • Status In Wild:  Common
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Secure
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: about 12 - 15 months
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. 15 or more years.  Some over 20 years.
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic (Young can be sexed accurately while still in the nest)
  • Mutations:  Many. More than 30.  (Sadly, even an all white bird)
  • Availability:  Common.  Pet shops and bird dealers.
  • Temperament:  Good beginner's bird, generally good breeders but should be kept one pair per aviary as they can be aggressive.  One of the most "domesticated" of the Australian parrots.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $30
  • Description Of Adults:  Few, genetically pure, normal coloured birds are available.
  1. Length: Approx. 270 mm (or approx. 11 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 60 - 65 gms (or approx  2.25 ozs)
Red rumped parrots are members of the PSEPHOTUS genus along with Mulga parrot, Hooded parrot, Golden shouldered parrot and the extinct Paradise 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.

The Red rumped parrot is a good beginner's bird, they are generally good breeders but should be kept one pair per aviary as they can be aggressive.  Care should be taken if pairs are housed in flights side by side.  Double wiring or a solid partition between flights must be considered.
Care must be exercised to maintain pure "normal" colour birds.

Minimum aviary size should be about 2 metres long,  900 mm wide and 2.1 metres high. (6ft x 3ft x 7ft).  An aviary 3 metres (10 feet) long is ideal.

In a large aviary, young birds just after they leave the nest are often "clumsy" fliers and may crash into the front wire wall.  The placement of hessian on the outer side of the wire wall or leafy branches close to the wire inside the cage should minimize the risk of injury of a young bird. The young bird should see the hessian or leafy branches and not fly into the end of the aviary.
Birds new to an aviary will benefit from branches or hessian material at the open end of the aviary.  They should see the material and not crash into the wire mesh.  This should minimize impact injuries of newly introduced birds.

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. 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.

In the wild the natural foods of the Red rumped parrot are seeds from grasses and herbaceous plants.  Seasonally available fruits, blossoms, fruit and flower buds, and various plant and vegetable matter balance the nutritional intake.  Insects may form part of their food intake.

Aviary birds require a balanced mix of fruits, vegetables, green leafy vegetables as well as a quality seed mix.

In the aviary these birds need a quality "small parrot mix" or "budgie seed mix" supplemented with plain canary seed and small amount of sunflower seed.  Seeding grasses along with some leafy green vegetables such as silverbeet, spinach or endive.  A variety of fruits e.g. apple, pear, orange and a variety of seasonally available vegetables should be offered as part of their daily food intake.  Sprouted or soaked seed can be offered.  Some birds will consume insects such as mealworms, especially if they have young in the nest.  The mealworm larvae, pupa and beetle can be offered.  The insects provide a good source of easily digested protein.

Commercial parrot pellets may 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: August to December
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth  300 - 500 mm (or approx. 12 - 18 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 150 - 180 mm. (or approx. 6 - 7 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 150 - 180  x  150 - 180 mm square (or approx. 6 - 7 x 6 - 7 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx  55 - 65 mm (or approx  2.2 - 2.5 inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100mm (or approx.  4 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.
  • 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 about 50-100 mm (about 2 - 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 - 3.  Eggs per nest  4 - 6.  Incubation approx. 19 - 21 days.  Fledge approx. 4 - 5 weeks.  Independent approx. another 2 - 3 weeks.

The young Red rumped parrot should be leg rung with a closed metal leg ring if these birds are to be bred to produce colour mutations or to keep track of the parentage of each bird.
The young should be removed from their parents as soon as they are fully independent as aggression from the parent cock bird may result in injury or even the death of a young bird.
Care must be exercised to maintain pure "normal" colour birds.
The genetic history should be made available with the purchase of each bird.
Stud books and closed metal leg rings should be used to record and track genetically pure "normal" colour birds and their progeny.

Breeders with the less common P. h. caeruleus should maintain the genetic purity of this sub-species.

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 59 No. 10 Oct 2005 Page 225-228 (Inc photo).
  • A/A Vol 58 No. 8 Aug 2004 Page 169-170.
  • A/A Vol 54 No. 8 Aug 2000 Page 184-185
  • A/A Vol 39 No. 9 Sep 1985 Page 199-201 (Inc Photo)
  • A/A Vol 33 No. 8 Aug 1979 Page 143-148
  • A/A Vol 33 No. 6 Jun 1979 Page 102-105 (Inc photos)
  • A/A Vol 26 No. 2 Feb 1972 Page 22-24
  • A/A Vol 17 No 9 Sept 1963 Page 128-131 (Inc colour plate).
  • A/A Vol 14 No. 9 Sept 1960 Page 130-131.
  • A/A Vol 12 No 12 Dec 1958 Page 153-161.
  • A/A Vol  9 No 5 May 1955 Page 57-58 (Yellows).
  • A/A Vol  8 No 8 Aug 1954 Page 92-94 (Psephotus family).
  • A/A Vol  8 No 4 Apr 1954 Page 44-45.
  • A/A Vol  3 No 11 Nov 1949 Page 113-114.
  • A/A Vol  3 No 9 Sept 1949 Page 95.
  • A/A Vol  1  No 5 May 1947 (split for cream).
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 18 Issue 9. Jun-Jul 2005 Page 554-557 (Colour mutations).
  • ABK Vol 14 Issue 9. Jun-Jul 2001 Page 505-508.
  • ABK Vol 13 Issue 6. Dec-Jan 2001 Page 338.
  • ABK Vol  9 Issue 6. Dec-Jan 1997 Page 283-284
  • ABK Vol  7 Issue 6. Dec-Jan 1995 Page 297-298
  • ABK Vol  7 Issue 4. Aug-Sept 1994 Page 166-169
  • ABK Vol  5 Issue 6. Dec-Jan 1993 Page 282-284
  • ABK Vol  1 Issue 5 Oct-Nov 1988 Page 140-142

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