Red Crowned, Cyanoramphus novaezelandai
Yellow Crowned, Cyanoramphus auriceps
Audio Clip is a group of parakeet “socialising
We have two species of parakeet on Stewart Island. Red Crowned and the slightly smaller Yellow Crowned. And in fact neither Iris nor I can ever remember seeing Yellow Crowned anywhere other than Ulva Island, where they are very much in the minority. I have no idea why this should be, Ulva Island is only from half to a mile or so from the main Island and additionally is within Paterson Inlet.
Parakeets have been one of many bird species to have enjoyed much enhanced breeding success since the rate eradication program on Ulva Island in the ’90s, and subsequently the Red Crowned are much more evident around the Village on mainland Stewart Island. A spill over from the Ulva success, but why this has not happened within the Yellow Crowned population is a mystery. The books tell me that Yellow Crowned favour mixed podocarp heavy forest …. which is exactly what Stewart & Ulva Islands are…. while the Red Crowned is more at home in lighter forest and scrub lands. As I said, a puzzle.
Both species are cavity nesters, and generally reasonably low to the ground. They appear to be quite omniverous, taking insects from tree trunks and the forest floor, tender shoots, fruit and I have seen Red Crowned grazing the Kamahi racimes much like lawn-mowers.
When I first started work on Ulva Island I never saw parakeet on the forest floor, now, with the removal of competing rats from Ulva many of our sightings are of birds busily scratching like domestic hens on the paths and amongst the forest litter.
Though generally seen as single birds or as pairs, we do occasionall find large noisy groups socialising and although predominantly Red Crowned, who are of course the more numerous, the groups will often have a lone Yellow Crowned as part of the mix. They will apparently cross mate, although what the progeny look like I have no idea.
As can be seen their beak is more budgie-like than parrot. But it is extremly strong and sharp. We had a PHD student living here working on Tui, catching them in a mist net. Her partner assisted her on Ulva, and a by-catch was several Parakeet. He didn’t have gloves… a serious oversight… and his fingers and hand literally had lumps out of them. As if he had been attacked by a maniacal ticket snapper.
[flowplayer src='http://focusingonwildlife.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Untitled.mp4' width=640 height=480 splashend=show splash='http://focusingonwildlife.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/IMG_2216-2.jpg' autoplay=false]
You may also like:
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- » [2554 Views]
- PETITION: Stop the massive slaughter of migratory birds in Egypt! » [1826 Views]
- POLL: Should canned hunting in Arizona be banned? » [1713 Views]
- Trophy Hunting in Africa – Wildlife Slaughter in Graphic Images » [1215 Views]
- If You Care About Birds, Watch This 4-Minute Video » [1177 Views]
- » [1105 Views]
- » [1096 Views]
- » [952 Views]
- 6 Reasons You Should Be Drinking “Bird-Friendly” Coffee » [888 Views]
- » [823 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- POLL: Should the Slaughter of Grouse be allowed to continue? » [32412 Views]
- POLL: Should bear hunting be banned in the US? » [25916 Views]
- Massive Bird Slaughter Around the Mediterranean – Shocking Photos » [11388 Views]
- POLL: Should China’s shameful tiger farms be closed down? » [9683 Views]
- Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa – Shocking Video » [6697 Views]
- POLL: Should the trial cull of badgers go ahead? » [4362 Views]
- Trophy Hunting in Africa – Wildlife Slaughter in Graphic Images » [4325 Views]
- Wildlife Photography – Ethics and Conservation Issues? » [4260 Views]
- Cyclist Has Amazing Encounter with a Mountain Lion in Los Angeles » [3845 Views]
- Egypt is the Worst Place to Be a Migratory Bird – Shocking Video » [3581 Views]