Species profile

Hooded Parrot

Hooded Parrot

Range and abundance

The Hooded Parrot only occurs in the Top End of the Northern Territory. It remains common in areas where fire and grazing are managed, especially around rocky slopes where food is available into the wet season.

Description

The Hooded Parrott is medium sized (26 cm and weighs 50 – 60 grams) and brightly coloured. Males have a black hood down to their bills, a deep turquoise body, brown back and large yellow shoulder patches. Female colouration is much more subdued: females are pastel dull olive above and turquoise below. Both sexes have a salmon coloured vent.

Ecology

The Hooded Parrot is a specialist of savanna woodlands that contain termite mounds. Breeding takes place between April and August. Pairs are monogamous, and they dig a long tunnel into a large termite mound to excavate a nest. The female lays four to five eggs per clutch. Their diet consists mainly of seeds, berries and other fruits. 

Threats

The species range has contracted, probably due to inappropriate fire regimes and overgrazing reducing the extent of favourable food plants. Termite mounds may also be vulnerable to damage by cattle in areas with high stocking loads or where cattle are breeding.

 


What is AWC doing?

AWC is protecting Hooded Parrots on Wongalara by applying appropriate burning and grazing regimes. Wongalara has the largest feral herbivore free area on mainland Australia (1000 km2). By decreasing grazing pressure and the frequency of intense fires, AWC protects Hooded Parrot nesting sites and helps maintain food availability. 

Did you know:

The Hooded Parrot has a symbiosis with a moth species (Trisyntopa neossophila). The female moth lays her eggs in the parrot nest, and times her laying so that her eggs hatch at the same time as the Hooded Parrot chicks. The moth larvae eat the parrot faeces, and thereby help keep the nest clean while gaining a meal. The larvae pupate only once the chicks have left the nest.