After having spent several months in countries where the parrot diversity is very low compared to Australia (see our Borneo posts & Nepal) I felt like I needed to make a compilation of Australian parrot images and share it here to get my fix of these beautiful birds! Australia might not have the highest parrot diversity in the world, but it boast over 50 species and a high proportion of them are found nowhere else in the world. It is the highest rate of parrot-endemism in the world.
Over the years spent walking in the Australian bush I’ve had plenty of opportunities to observe and photograph many species of Australian parrots. Below is a selection of my favourite shots along with some information about them and links to conservation programs for the endangered species!
Two male Mulga parrots (Psephotus varius) having an argument on a dead tree. To see more about the trip where I photographed them click on the following link: Mungo National Park. The second image is a female photographed a few years ago in Bowra (a bird heaven in the Australian outback).
The crimson rosella (Platycercus elegans) is usually the first bird I hear in the morning when I am camping in the rainforests of the Gold Coast Hinterland.
A red-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii) photographed flying between eucalyptus trees in Perth. I talk a bit about the technical details behind the second shot here: Double extender wildlife photography.
The Major Mitchell cockatoo (Cacatua leadbeateri) is deemed by many to be the most beautiful parrot in Australia. It truly is a wonder of pink tones and fire crest!
The Australian ringneck (Barnardius zonarius) below was photographed at the Birdlife Australia Gluepot Reserve in South Australia.
The glossy-black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami). I’ve only been in a good position to photograph them once and this is the image I got. It was feeding in a she-oak, their favorite food. If you want to get involved with the Glossy Black Conservancy to report a sighting or participate in the yearly South-East Queensland census, follow this link http://www.glossyblack.org.au
A pair of Australian king parrots (Alisterus scapularis) that were very inquisitive! We encountered them 2 hours walk from of the Binna Burra Lodge in Lamington National Park while hiking with some friends. They perched quite close and gave some good photo opportunities.
The common yet incredibly colourful rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus). They are probably the most recognisable species of parrot in Australia. In places like Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast they gather at sunset in the trees on the beachfront. There are literally thousands of them and it makes for a very noisy affair!
The Budgerigar is one of the most common pet birds in the world yet not many owners have seen them in their natural environment, the Australian outback. They can flock in the thousands when conditions are right and it is quite a sight when it happens! The following images were taken in Bowra. The bird diversity there is astounding, click here to read some of my reports on the area Bowra photography 2011 & Bowra photography 2014
A red-winged parrot (Aprosmictus erythropterus) from the 2014 Bowra article linked previously in this blog post. This was the last bird I saw during that trip as I was packing my tent to leave. Always pack your camera last as you never know what might come around!
Every afternoon when we were at Bowra, galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla) would come down to this pond and have a drink. It made for great photo opportunities.
Australian parrots in trouble
It’s not all beautiful colours and happy times for Australian parrots, many species are under threat. If you would like to learn more please check out the following links:
- Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo’s – Find out more here: http://birdlife.org.au/projects/southwest-black-cockatoo-recovery/how-can-you-help;
- The swift parrot – Find out more here: http://theconversation.com/lets-stop-tasmanias-swift-parrots-going-the-way-of-the-dodo-39570; and
- Western ground parrot – Find out more here: http://www.western-ground-parrot.org.au.