parrots are beautiful, noisy, smart and fun to watch.
Unlike cockatoos that are
only found in Australia and south east Asia, parrots are not endemic to this
part of the
world - they are even more abundant and impressive in
But Australia no doubt
has got a good
variety too. They are not only the most
colourful birds in Australia, they are also smart and like to have a
lot of fun.
So what Australian
parrots are found
in Cape York?
Australian king parrot is found along the eastern coast of the country,
and mostly in the south.
But there is
a different variation of it in
north, found only in the very south of Cape York, in Daintree
Red winged parrot is a very common parrot in Cape York, covering the
very south east.
The female is
light green with red wing edges while
the male is darker green on the back, with some blue, and has red wings.
Double eyed fig parrot is one of the smallest and rarest of Australian
parrots and is
found in three
different subspecies in mainly three pockets in eastern Australia -
and in Cape York.
All have a short tail, a mostly light green
body, yellow wing edges, dark blue wing tips, and patches of red and
blue on the face.
Parrots Endemic to
parrot is the most famous one, thanks to its sexual dimorphism (the
female is red and the male is green) as well as the fact that it is
endemic to the peninsula.
It is a beautiful parrot, and it lives only in a pocket of rainforest
in and around Iron
By jerryoldenettel via Flickr.com
While less famous and with smaller differences between the male and the
female, red cheeked parrot lives in the same place and same habitat as
eclectus parrot. It also has a very similar body shape and features,
although a different colour pattern with a pale green body and a red
head. Males have a blue neck.
Shouldered Parrot Golden
shouldered parrot is only found in the southern and central
the peninsula, no
further north than Coen.
and head are pale blue and it has a
black crown on the top of the head. Its wings are brownish with yellow
patches on "shoulders". Unlike the two above, it prefers dry woodland
Rosellas and Lorikeets
are a group of Australian parrots that have a pattern with black on the
back and wings. They come in many different colours from crimson red to
yellow, blue and green.
The one found along the eastern coast is
eastern rosella, and the northern variation of it, which is found in
Cape York, is called pale headed rosella.
is a group of Australian parrots that have a light green back
and patches of red, blue and yellow elsewhere.
The most colourful, and
the most common are rainbow lorikeets that are found throughout the
Others found here are little, varied and scaly breasted
shouldered parrot is one of the rarest Australian parrots.
only found in some parts
of southern Cape York peninsula, and the amount of the
wild individuals is only about 2000 birds.
It is a beautiful bird and thanks to how rare it is, people who are
into bird watching often want to see it on their Cape York
It is a bird not easy to spot, unless you know exactly where to look,
and if you really want to spot it without spending days looking, it is worth paying a bit to get
to be taken to the right spots. A great way of doing that is
going with the owners of Artemis
Station, who do morning and afternoon tours - just ring and
What Does Golden Shouldered
Parrot Look Like?
It is a small parrot, only
less than 30cm long.
The female is duller,
as in all birds, and has different shades of green.
The male is brighter,
with a bright turquoise body, except grey wings, a black head-top, and
some red under the belly.
And it is the male that has the "golden
shoulder" - giving the species its common name.
Habitat, Feeding and Breeding
nickname is ant bed parrot - because it nests in termite mounds.
mounds are therefore an important part of their habitat, and
the Golden shouldered parrot consequently lives in tropical open woodlands and
grasslands where termites live.
During the Wet Season, they
burrow a tunnel into the mound, and build the nest in the
end of the tunnel.
Golden shouldered parrot lay up to six eggs that take about three weeks
before they hatch.
thing, apart from
the termite mounds that they need in their habitat, is obviously their food, which
is small grass
seeds, particularly fire
If you are into birds and visiting Cape York, it is well worth dropping into
Artemis, the pics on this page were taken there (of course
they take you to see the wild birds, not tame).
Get this 50 pages guide totally for FREE. It
contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
there and get
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my partner Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old Telegraph Track). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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