Australian Bush Birds
Red-winged Parrot  -  Aprosmictus erythropterus
Red-winged Parrot
Male Red Wing Parrot is mainly bright green with red and black wing patches and orange beak. The male has a blue lower back usually covered but just visible in the above photograph. (Bulla Park rest area on the Barrier Highway between Nyngan and Cobar)
Red-winged Parrot
Female Red Wing Parrot is mainly a duller green than the male with less obvious red wing patches, Warren, NSW.
Red-winged Parrot - page 2
map map The Red-winged Parrot - Aprosmictus erythropterus - is a brilliant green bird with crimson markings (and black markings in the male). Adult males and females are different coloured. Breeding males have a bright green head and underside; the back is black and the lower back (usually covered) is deep blue, tail is green and tipped yellow, the bill and cere are orange, the eye is orange-red, feet and toes mid-grey. Wings (the shoulders) are bright red. Combination of red wings, black mantle, green head and green underside produces a bird with striking appearance. About 32 centimetres long including the long, rounded tail

Females have a lighter green head and a slight yellow wash on the underparts; eye is pale brown, bill and feet as for the male. Body plumage is a slightly duller green than the male. There is a red band across the wing (the red is smaller and less bright than on the male).

Juveniles are coloured as for females, juvenile males acquire adult plumage at their third year moult.

Flight is erratic with deep, irregular wing beats and swooping undulations. Red-winged parrots usually come to the ground only to drink.

Lives in pairs or small flocks, mostly near water, rarely gathers in feeding flocks. Feeds in foliage and blossoms on seeds, fruit, buds, blossoms, nectar, insects and their larvae; particularly fond of Eucalyptus and Acacia seeds. Common in open eucalyptus forest and woodlands near streams across much of Queensland and south to the Lake Eyre and Darling systems. Further inland found in mulga, brigalow, casuarina and cypress and in mangroves along the north coast. A sedentary species with irregular movements along the fringe of the distribution range; sometimes absent from previous regular haunts for many years.

Normally wary and hard to approach; when disturbed flies to the next grove of trees calling loudly.

Found across the Top End, except coastal Cape York and coastal Queensland, also in inland New South Wales and north-east South Australia.

Two subspecies have been recognised by some authorities:

Aprosmictus erythropterus erythropterus is described above. This subspecies is found in northern New South Wales, north-east South Australia and most of Queensland as far inland as Mount Isa, Barcaldine and merges with subspecies coccineopterus at Cape York and in western Queensland.

Aprosmictus erythropterus coccineopterus is described as a "poorly differentiated subspecies" found in northern Australia from the Kimberley to Cape York including the northern third of the Northern Territory and western Queensland. This subspecies is mainly slightly paler in colour and more yellowish than the main subspecies.

Breeding takes place from August to February; but as early as May in northern parts. The nest is made of wood dust in a hole in a tree, often near water, with an egg chamber near the ground. Most nesting hollows are very deep with distances of up to 10 metres recorded between the entry hole and the nest at the bottom of the hollow where the eggs are laid.

Five eggs, sometime six, white, non-glossy, and rounded 30-32 by 25-26 mm. Incubated by the female for about 20 days; she leaves the nest to be fed by the male. Young are fed by both parents and fledge in about five weeks.

 ¶  Genus Aprosmictus is in the large Family Psittacidae containing lorikeets, parrots and rosellas.

 ¶  English Names include Crimson-winged Parrot; this species is sometimes mistaken for the King Parrot.

Red-winged Parrot - page 3
Red-winged Parrot
Female Red Wing Parrot at Daly Waters in the Northern Territory may be the paler and slightly yellower subspecies coccineopterus