OTHER NAMES: Red-rumped Parrot, Red-backed Parrot, Red-winged Parrot, Crimson-winged Parrot, Blood-winged Parrot, Grass Parrot, Ground Parrot, Grassie, Green Leek, Redrump, or Reddie and is also described as a Parakeet outside of Australia.
SUBSPECIES: Paler Red-rump Parrot Psephotus caeruleus, this species is very similar to the standard Redrump parrot, however they are smaller with paler plumage and the females appear more greyish.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The adult male Red Rump Parrot has an aqua blue mask that covers their cheeks, brow and face. Their head and chest are a bright emerald green which blends into a yellowish green on the shoulders and chest and then into a stronger yellow on the stomach. They have a distinctive red rump from which their name is derived. Their nape and back are a duller grey/blue/green. Their wings are a duller blue/green with blue/black tips, the shoulders of their wings have an aqua marking centered with a yellow patch. The tail merges down from a blue/green to blue/black tips and the underside of the tail is a paler white/blue. Brown/grey eye, grey feet and dark beak.
The male Red Rump Parrots are much more colourful than the females. The female has similar makings but her plumage is made up of a duller olive green over her head, shoulders and chest, which blends down to a pale yellow/white on the stomach and pale blue/white underside. The rump is a plain dull green. A slightly darker olive green covers the wings and tail with blue/black tips. Brown/grey eye, grey feet and dark grey beak
The adolescent birds are the same as the adults, but are much duller. They reach adult colouring at around 4 months.
SIZE: The Red Rump is a slim average sized parrot at about 27 cm in length and weigh of around 55-85gm. Their long tail is almost half its length.
HABITAT: The Red Rump Parrot is native to Australia and can be found in New South Wales, Victoria, southwest Queensland and eastern parts of South Australia. They tend to live in pairs or little groups and are generally found in lightly wooded area close to a water source. This little bird has been very successful in adapting too many man made environments such as farms, parks and golf courses. The Red Rump Parrot well camouflaged on ground is often seen feeding on the ground or perched on posts and trees. Sometimes they will be seen in large flocks, usually during winter and large flocks of males have been seen during their breeding season.
STATUS: Common to numerous
DIET: The Red Rump feeds mainly on seeds, but also enjoys fruits and vegetables, buds, flowers, nectar and insects.
Many sites recommend a combination of small parrot or Cockatiel seed mix, striped sunflower seeds (not too many), oats, Canary Seed, and Millets, as a basis for their seed diet, while other sites recommend parrot pellets or a combination of both. One site recommends coating the seed mix with Wheat Germ Oil to provide vitamins and prevent egg binding in their birds.
What ever your choice, make sure that your Red Rump received a daily serve of various clean fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouts, nuts, flowers, berries and nectar. It is very important that any uneaten or spoilt fruit is removed as soon as possible, through out the day to prevent contamination and fermentation, especially during hot humid weather. You should also supplement their diet with soaked and sprouted seed, seeding grasses, seed heads, and even egg and biscuit mix.
Red Rump Parrots need a source of protein, which can be obtained with insectivore mixes, insect larvae, mealworms or a protein powder. You also need to maintain adequate levels of vitamins and minerals, there are many types of mineral and vitamin blocks available. I use a mineral perch. Don’t forget the benefits of cuttlefish and shell grit. They also spend a lot of time on the ground scratching around in dirt so it is imperative that they are wormed regularly.
Eucalyptus branches, leaves and flowers are a natural source of food but when placed throughout their enclosure they also become an important source of entertainment and exercise. Mental stimulation is extremely important for all birds in captivity. They also enjoy a dish of water for bathing or they will try to use their drinking water Change their water every day, and frequently clean their feeding bowls, toys, perches and cage or aviary to prevent contamination
COMPATIBILITY: Some people believe that it is ok to house the Red Rump with other birds outside of the breeding season, but I feel that this could lead to a very sad outcome. Red Rumps have a reputation for aggressive behaviour and do not tolerate sharing their enclosure with other birds, this includes other Red Rumps. The Adult male is extremely aggressive during the breeding season and has been know to kill rivals to ensure his breeding rights. I believe it is best to keep Red Rumps housed in single pairs or alone as a companion.
TEMPERAMENT: The Red Rump is said to be an active, outgoing and robust little bird.
PET STATUS: Every Red Rump parrot has its own personality and some can make fantastic companions. They don’t always cope with the life of a family pet. It is best that you adopt a hand reared bird if you want to keep one as an indoor companion. A Red Rump will require a lot of daily social interaction and mental stimulation. This should include consistent and rich interaction and loads of toys and activities to maintain their mental health.
A pet Red Rump will quickly revert back to less social behaviour if left alone but more importantly your bird will suffer emotionally. If you don’t think you will have the time then you really should consider purchasing a pair and house them in an outside aviary.
LEVEL OF NOISE: The Red Rump Parrot is relatively quiet bird compared to other similar sized parrots. They are said to have a musical voice. The normal call sounds like a shrill whistle. Each call varies depending on what they are doing.
LIFE SPAN: Genetics and diet always have an influence in the longevity of a bird. The Red Rump Parrot can live 15 to 20 years or more.
References: (Viewing date –4th July 2008)
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