SPECIES: Polytelis alexandrae — Princess Parrot


The Princess Parrot is one of our more elusive native parrots, often not returning to a region for years at a time. For such a dainty, colourful bird, it actually is quite a nomadic species, found in the arid, desert regions of WA, NT and SA and even engages in mobbing behaviour against predators. Not sure if this would be seen as quite princess-like behaviour? [Side note: The Princess Parrot was named in honour of Princess Alexandra of Denmark, who, in 1863 married the Prince of Wales and went on to later become the Queen of the United Kingdom.]

They are more often found on their own, in pairs or sometimes in small flocks of up to 30 and will nest in hollows or holes of Eucalyptus trees close to watercourses. Due to their nomadic behaviour, they are one of our least known species of parrot - also making surveys something of a difficult task. There's probably 5,000 breeding birds left in the wild, the most likely threats being habitat degradation, reduction of food availability, fire and disease.

Photo: Timothychacko

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