Saturday 15 June
Red-fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae)
Red-fronted parakeet fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Red-fronted parakeet description
The red-fronted parakeet is immediately recognisable by its distinctive, brightly coloured plumage. Vivid crimson feathers appear on the forehead, crown and behind the eye, earning this bird its alternative common name of ‘red-crowned parakeet’ (4) (5). This conspicuous red marking on the head contrasts with the predominantly green colour of the rest of the body, though yellow mutations are occasionally found in the wild (5). The underside of the wings are blue-violet, the beak is grey-blue, getting darker at the tip, and the eyes are orange (4) (5). This bird has a unique and unusual voice, which is sometimes likened to the bleating of a goat (5).
- Also known as
- New Zealand parakeet, red-crowned parakeet, red-fronted kakariki.
- Cyanoramphus cookii, Platycercus cookii, Psittacus novaezelandiae.
- Average male length: 28cm (2)
- Average female length: 25 cm (2)
- Average male weight: 80 g (2)
- Average female weight: 70 g (2)
- An organism that feeds on both plants and animals.
- IUCN Red List (May, 2006)
- New Zealand Birds (November, 2005)
- CITES (November, 2005)
- Secret Garden Exotic Birds (November, 2005)
- Red Fronted Kakariki (November, 2005)
- BirdLife International (November, 2005)
- NZERN - the New Zealand Ecological Restoration Network (November, 2005)
- Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi Inc. (November, 2005)
- Greene, T.C. (2003) Breeding biology of red-crowned parakeets (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) on Little Barrier Island, Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. Notornis, 50(2): 83 - 99.
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Red-fronted parakeet biology
The omnivorous red-fronted parakeet feeds mainly on plant material, including seeds, fruits, flowers, nectar, leaves and shoots, but also on invertebrates and will occasionally scavenge animal carrion (6) (7).
These parakeets live in permanent pairs that frequently join with other pairs and their young, and have been observed to form small flocks in the autumn and winter (8). In studies on Little Barrier Island, breeding activity was recorded from November to March, with peak egg-laying in December (9). Clutches were usually large, ranging from four to nine (average of seven) eggs, and female parakeets took total responsibility for their incubation, which lasts from 19 to 23 days (5) (9). Hatchlings are covered with a white down that changes to grey within a few days (5). Fledglings leave the nest after 32 to 49 days (9).Top
Red-fronted parakeet range
Historically abundant in mainland New Zealand, the red-fronted parakeet is now effectively extinct in this area (recent sightings are now believed to be cage escapes or releases or vagrants from offshore island populations). Populations currently remain on offshore islands, including the Kermadec islands, Three Kings, some Hauraki Gulf islands, Kapiti Island, Stewart Island and surrounding islands, Chatham Islands, Snares, Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, and Norfolk Island (self-governing Australian Territory). Now extinct on Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Islands (6).Top
Red-fronted parakeet habitat
Found in a wide variety of habitats, including dense temperate rainforests, coastal forest, scrubland, forest edges and open areas. This bird prefers nesting in hollow limbs, holes or stumps of trees, but, where suitable trees are lacking, will also use holes, burrows and tunnels in the ground, cliffs and tussock grass (6).Top
Red-fronted parakeet statusTop
Red-fronted parakeet threats
The red-fronted parakeet has been upgraded from Least Concern to Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List due to its apparent extinction from the mainland, leaving only fragmented populations across off-shore islands. European settlement and conversion of forest to farmland probably contributed significantly to this bird’s decline, with clear-felling, logging and burning of forests drastically reducing available habitat. The disappearance of this species from the mainland is also attributed to nest predation from introduced predators, such as rats, cats, stoats and weasels, in addition to competition for food and breeding sites from introduced birds. Formerly persecuted for damaging crops and gardens (6).Top
Red-fronted parakeet conservation
The red-fronted parakeet is fully protected from trade across international boarders by its listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) (3). A captive breeding programme has also been established on Norfolk Island for this bird. The ability of this species to breed well in captivity, and its popularity in aviculture collections, is likely to prevent this bird from ever becoming completely extinct. Future priorities advocated in the conservation of the red-fronted parakeet include preserving important habitat of remaining populations, carrying out research to determine current population size and trends, and performing predator control measures if found to be appropriate (6).Top
Find out more
For further information on the red-fronted parakeet see:
AuthenticationThis information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgTop
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.