The Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius) is a parrot native to all mainland Australian states. Four sub-species have been identified. Side-by-side comparison of the Australian Ringneck Races.
- Mallee Ringnecks and Conclurry Parrots are found in arid eastern Northern Territory, north-western Queensland and inland eastern Australia.
- Port Lincoln and Twenty-eight Parrots are found central and western arid Australia.
Ringnecks are generally absent from coastal areas in the eastern states, although escaped pets / feral populations may be found around Sydney and the Central Coast of New South Wales and the Tablelands.
Australian Ringnecks are typically found in pairs (during the breeding seaon) or small flocks (outside the breeding season) over lightly timbered areas, open woodlands and tree-lined watercourses. Seasonal movements are possible depending on availability of food and suitable nesting sites. However, they are mainly resident or sedentary provided the area needs their needs. Like most parrot species, Australian Ringneck are active during the day, typically foraging for food early in the morning and late afternoon, and will settle down at their favored roosting place for the night.
Conservation Status and Related Laws / Regulations:
As of this time, this species is not considered threatened as of this time, as this species has adapted well to all conditions - except for extreme tropical and highland areas.
However, in Western Australia, the Ringneck competes for nesting space with the Rainbow Lorikeet. To protect the Australian Ringneck, the Rainbow Lorikeet - an introduced species that is considered a pest species in Western Australia - is subject to eradication in the wild.
For conservation purposes, in Western Australia, a license is required to keep or sell / dispose of more than four Port Lincoln Ringnecks. The sale of the Cloncurry Parrot is restricted in Queensland.
This medium-sized species averages 33 cm or 11 inches in length (including the tail).
The subspecies differ considerably in coloration. However, their basic color is green, and all four subspecies have the characteristic yellow ring around the hindneck. The wings and tails are a mixture of green and blue.
For a species side-by-side comparison, ranges and identification, please visit this webpage.
Breeding / Nesting
Breeding season for the Northern populations starts in June or July, while the central and southern populations breed from August to February but this can be delayed when climatic conditions are unfavorable.
Australian Ringnecks lay their eggs in hollows in living or dead trees, entering through a hole in the trunk, a knothole or a spout.
The typical clutch consists of four or five white oval eggs, measuring 29 mm x 23 mm.
The female incubates the eggs while being fed by the male and she may leave the nest for a short time to be fed by the male.
The young are fed by both parents and often can be seen at the mouth of the hollow.
Diet / Feeding
Australian Ringnecks feed mainly on the ground, but also in trees and shrubs, usually in the morning and late afternoon, resting in the heat of the day.
This species eats a wide range of foods that include nectar, insects and their larvae, seeds, fruit, and native and introduced bulbs. It will eat orchard-grown fruit, and are sometimes seen as a pest by farmers. They often feed on spilt grain on roadsides.
Ringneck Parrots are generally hardy birds. However, the following diseases have been reported in this species:
- Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (causes feather loss and beak deformities; and a high nestling mortality rate)
- Aspergillosis (fungal disease)
- Bacterial infections (pneumonia)
- Hypovitaminosis A
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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