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Scientific Name: Aprosmictus erythropterus
Description: The Red-winged Parrot is a medium-sized, stout parrot and is the only mainly green parrot with large red shoulder patches. The male is bright lime green with a black back and deep blue rump. The tail is green with a yellow tip. The bill and eye are red and the legs are grey. The female is similar, but with a smaller wing patch and dark green back and a paler rump. Red-winged Parrots are usually seen in pairs or flocks. Their flight is distinctive, with deep, full strokes and a light and airy quality, pausing on each stroke. This species is also known as Crimson-winged or Red-winged Lory, Red Wing or King Parrot.
Similar species: The Red-winged Parrot is bigger and bulkier than rosellas, with shorter wings and a broader tail.
Distribution: Red-winged Parrots are widespread in northern and eastern Australia and are also found in southern New Guinea and Irian Jaya.
Habitat: Red-winged Parrots are found in open, dry woodlands, timber-lined watercourses and arid scrub and sometimes in mangroves. They spend most of the day in trees.
Seasonal movements: The movements of Red-winged Parrots are not well known. They are considered partly nomadic in response to local conditions, searching for food and water.
Feeding: Red-winged Parrots feed on seeds, nectar, pollen and blossoms, insects and larvae. They forage in the canopy on outer branches of flowering trees and shrubs. They occasionally come to the ground to drink or to eat fallen seeds.
Breeding: Red-winged Parrots breed once each year. Eggs are laid in the hollow trunk of a tall tree, often near the ground. The nesting tree is usually close to water. The nest site may be a long way down from the entrance, which is high in the tree. Only the female incubates, leaving the nest to feed or to be fed by the male. The courtship display of the Red-winged Parrot is very colourful: the male circles the favoured female, then lowers his wings to expose the blue patch on his lower back, which is usually hidden. He holds his feathers close to his body and contracts his pupils.
Calls: The Red-winged Parrot usually calls in flight with a sharp metallic 'crillik, crillik' and a harsh shrieking 'chik-chik-chik' in alarm.
Minimum Size: 31cm
Maximum Size: 33cm
Average size: 32cm
Average weight: 140g
Breeding season: July to January
Clutch Size: 4 to 6
Incubation: 20 days
© Chris Burns 2014
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