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Red-Winged Parrot Species:

The red-winged parrot has a height of about 12.5 inches with wings that are 7.2 to 8.2 inches long.

Its tail measures 5.7 inches in length and its bill is about 0.7 inches long. The tarsus of the bird is 0.9 inches. The bird gets its name from its distinctive red wings that brightly stand out from the rest of its green plumage. It is this feature that makes the red- winged parrot unique and easily recognizable.

Male birds have a bright green body with a yellow tipped tail. The lower back and rump is blue in color, and the eyes and bill are orange. The wings are red and the feet are grayish in color. Females appear quite different from the males, with a greenish yellow plumage and pink edges on their red wings.

The irises are dark and the lower back and rump are pale blue. Young parrots appear similar to females in the color of their bodies.

These birds are found in farmlands, mangroves, arboreal forest edges and riverine forests in the regions of Eastern Austrailia and southern New Guinea. Red- winged parrots feed on seeds from acacias, hop bushes and eucalyptus and eat while perched upside down on branches. There is often a soft chirping heard among the birds as they eat. These birds are arboreal and do not usually feed on the ground, unless they are drinking water or they come across fallen seeds. Disturbances cause these birds to emit a loud, sharp call and fly away to other trees. Many times these birds are seen along with other species of parrots such as the mallee ringneck parrots and the pale headed rosellas. Red-winged parrots are found in flocks of 15 to 20 when not breeding. If there is scarcity of food or when shifting to another region, the size of the flock may increase.

Male young birds get their adult plumage at the age of two years, while for females it occurs at the age of one and a half years. The area in which the birds are living determines the breeding season, which may continue till three to four months beginning in late spring and lasting through the summer. Nests are built in the hollows of trees and the female incubates the eggs, while the male goes in search of food. The male also helps in feeding the young ones. The young birds leave their nests after five weeks, but continue to remain with their parents.

  Submitted on January 15, 2010