Red Crowned, Cyanoramphus novaezelandai
Audio Clip is a group of parakeet “socialisingAudio 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]
Share on social media:
You may also like:
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
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- POLL: Should the dolphinarium project in Arizona be stopped? [4151 Views]
- POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [3174 Views]
- POLL: Should bear trafficking in Southeast Asia be stopped? [2430 Views]
- POLL: Should Japan stop whaling? [1689 Views]
- Wild Tigers of India – in Battle! [1586 Views]
- POLL: Should the trade of polar bear parts be banned? [1292 Views]
- POLL: Should bear-bile farming be banned? [1274 Views]
- POLL: Should the trade in rare lizard species be banned? [1162 Views]
- Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [1097 Views]
- Down to the last three: can science save northern white rhino from extinction? [1064 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- POLL: Should the annual Canadian seal hunt be banned? [15267 Views]
- POLL: Should lion canned hunting be banned? [14321 Views]
- POLL: Should hare coursing be banned in Ireland? [9922 Views]
- POLL: Should wildlife hunting contests be permitted in Idaho? [7753 Views]
- POLL: Should Africa’s poachers be shot on sight? [6744 Views]
- Wildlife Photo Adventure in Costa Rica! [6139 Views]
- POLL: Should the slaughter of wolves in British Columbia be banned? [5889 Views]
- POLL: Should ‘canned’ lion hunting be banned? [5683 Views]
- POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [5400 Views]
- POLL: Should whales and dolphins be kept in captivity for our entertainment? [5288 Views]