The Orange-Bellied Parrots scientific name is Neophema chrysogaster. When threatened these birds will make a buzzing call. In the wild Orange-Bellied Parrots live less than four years.
The Orange-Bellied Parrot is just bigger than a Budgerigar. The Orange-Bellied Parrot grows to 20cm in length and weigh 45-50g. Male Orange-Bellied Parrots have a blue band on their head and a orange spot on their stomach.
They eat the seeds of button grass.
Habitat, Breeding and Migration
The Orange-Bellied Parrot is one of two migratory parrots in the world! Each year a Orange-Bellied Parrot will migrate from the coast of South Australia and Victoria to Tasmania and back again. They breed at a place called Melaleuca on the west coast of Tasmania. The Orange-Bellied Parrot will stay with their breeding pair for life. The female will lay and incubate four eggs. They travel there because there is lots of button grass and these parrots breed in the hollows of the peppermint eucalyptus trees which are around the button grass plains.
There are only around 35 Orange-Bellied parrots in the wild! Only around 21 of these are adults. It is believed they will be extinct in 3-5 years! The Orange-Bellied Parrots threats are feral cats and red foxes, habitat destruction, inbreeding and beak and feather disease. The amount of babies that get this disease is 75%! The Orange-Bellied Parrot is the most endangered member of the grass parrot family Neophema.
Since 2006 10 million dollars has been spent trying to save this unique bird. Many zoos are taking part in breeding programs to help save the species. There are 350 Orange Bellied Parrots in captivity. Nest boxes are being put up but not many of these birds are using them. The Orange-Bellied Parrot has a recovery plan thankfully.
How You Can Help
- Spread the message
If you live where Orange Bellied Parrots can be found you can also help them by:
- Keep your cats inside
- Joining the winter survey
- Put up Orange Bellied Parrot nest boxes