Quantcast
Jul 182012
 

Parakeets

Red Crowned, Cyanoramphus novaezelandai

Yellow Crowned,

Cyanoramphus auriceps

Audio Clip is a group of parakeet “socialisingAudio Clip is a group of parakeet “socialising”

Red Crowned Parakeet, Note the beak, and the dexterous use of claw to manipulate food.

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.

Nesting

Parent feeding juvenile (small beak in hole)

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]

Share on social media:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Peter Tait

Peter Tait

Peter Tait is a professional nature guide based at Stewart Island, New Zealand, and he works primarily on Ulva Island Open Sanctuary. Peter has been resident on the Island for over 40 years and was one time Forest Ranger in Charge of Stewart Island. Fishing followed forestry and was in turn followed by Talisker, a 17m charter yacht. He is qualified Skipper Deep Sea Fishing Vessel. In addition to guiding Peter and his wife Iris are hosts at Sails Ashore Lodge.

Leave a Comment

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Olivier Esnault
Guest
Olivier Esnault
4 years 2 months ago

Very nice bird 🙂 I really appreciate your blog. Hope one day I will go to New Zealand !
Regards

wpDiscuz

Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [8127 Views]
  2. POLL: Should Japan’s “research whaling” program be closed down? [1956 Views]
  3. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [1405 Views]
  4. Rare desert lions of ‘five musketeers’ fame poisoned [1241 Views]
  5. POLL: Should Norway’s plan to cull its wolves be abandoned? [1237 Views]
  6. The biologist terrifying the US Forest Service, timber and forest fire-fighting industries [1191 Views]
  7. POLL: Should buzzards be killed to protect pheasants? [1100 Views]
  8. POLL: Should Japan’s killing of dolphins and whales be stopped? [955 Views]
  9. POLL: Should the badger cull in the UK be extended? [901 Views]
  10. POLL: Should microplastics be banned in cosmetics? [834 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. White Killer Whale Adult Spotted for First Time in Wild [41859 Views]
  2. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16576 Views]
  3. POLL: Should the annual Canadian seal hunt be banned? [15164 Views]
  4. POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [13389 Views]
  5. POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [11073 Views]
  6. POLL: Should hare coursing be banned in Ireland? [10031 Views]
  7. POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8403 Views]
  8. POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [8265 Views]
  9. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [8043 Views]
  10. POLL: Should black bears be killed for Royal Guards’ fur caps? [8003 Views]