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Red-Rumped Parrot

Red-Rumped Parrot Psephotus haematonotus

Natural Range

Red-rumped parrots are endemic to the South-eastern parts of Australia and are particularly common in the Murray-Darling basin. They spend a large portion of their time foraging on the ground so prefer open grassland or sparsely wooded habitats to dense forests. Red-rumps have adapted well to urbanisation and can often be seen in parks and pastures within their natural range.


Red-rumps forage in open grass lands and live on a diet consisting mainly of seeds and leafy green vegetation but occasionally eat fruits when available. This makes the diet of the red-rumped parrot easy to imitate in captivity. They are supplied with a high quality small parrot or cockatiel seed mix which is supplemented with a millet and small amounts of sunflower seeds. In addition, the parrot’s diet also contains a mix of fruit and green vegetables such as: apple with seeds removed, pear with seeds removed, spinach, lettuces, silver beet.

Click play on the image below to hear what a Red-Rumped Parrot sounds like.

CREDIT: Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, IMAGE: Flex Watson. AUDIO: Sara Young. 


The red-rumped parrot typically breeds in spring and early summer however can breed later when conditions are favourable. The birds can lay up to three clutches per season with each clutch containing 3-6 eggs. The eggs take between 19 and 22 days to hatch and then the juveniles take a further 4-5 weeks to fledge (capable of flight). During the breeding season the males can become more aggressive and may need to be removed.

Red-rumped parrots like most Australian parrots nest in tree hollows. In captivity, each breeding pair has a nesting box that mimics these hollows. The base of each box is covered in a layer of untreated saw dust or wood shavings. 

Typical Behaviour

Like most parrots, red-rumps are intelligent and require stimulation to avoid becoming bored and developing self-destructive behaviours. In order for them to express their natural behaviours, a range of natural wooden perches are provided for them to use. They will often shred leaves and peel bark to search for insects and these perches need to be regularly changed. Plants native to the bird’s home range, such as gums are used.

In their natural habitat, red-rumps spend a large portion of their time on the ground foraging in flocks.

Red-rumps are avid cleaners and may spend several hours each day cleaning/preening. To aid them with cleaning, they are supplied with water baths.

Fun Facts

  • Although rare, there have been Red-Rumped Parrots which have learnt to mimic human speech.
  • Red-Rumped Parrots display sexual dimorphism. The males are brightly coloured with emerald green, blue, red and yellow feathers, while the females have more muted greens and olives.

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