Barraband Parakeet, Barraband Parrot, Scarlet-breasted Parrot, Green Leek Parrot
Scientific Name: Polytelis swainsonii
At maturity, a Superb Parrot will grow to about 15.5 inches. These Parrots are predominantly green. Males have a slight blue tinge to their napes although their foreheads, cheeks and throats are yellow. A red band adorns the breast of the male Superb Parrot. His primaries have blue outer webbing, and the long, pointed tail has a blackish underside! Male Superb Parrots have green coloration on their upper tails and orange-yellow irises. Female Superb Parrots have duller plumage and lack the male's red and yellow coloration. Their throats are grayish-green and their faces are bluish-green. Unlike the males, they have orange-yellow thighs and pink tipped under-tail feathers! Females Superb Parrots have yellow irises, and both sexes have backward-swept wings, gray feet, reddish-pink bills, and gray periopthalmic rings.
Superb Parrots are extremely hardy and will thrive on a good basic seed mix supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots, rosehips and greenfood. Superb Parrots must be wormed regularly. They are quite susceptible to foot problems and eye infections caused by fright and general emotional stress. A pair or small group of Superb Parrots will do fine in a five meter by one meter by one and a half meter aviary.
In captivity, Superb Parrots usually begin breeding in March. While some captive pairs breed twice in a year, others will not breed at all. The male's courtship display is characterized by his dilated pupils, raised head feathers, bobbing head, spread tail, and open wings. He runs back and forth in front of his female and contracts his pupils alternately. In the wild, Superb Parrots breed from September to December and nest in hollows in tall trees, where the female incubates the eggs. The male will also have an active role in taking care of his family. An average Superb Parrot clutch has four to six eggs which incubate for about 20 days. The baby Superb Parrots will fledge from 35 to 45 days and are independent by 50 days. If Superb Parrots are to be bred in captivity, they require a nesting box or hollow log of at least 20 centimeters in diameter. If you use a nesting box, place it at an angle, and dimensions of 60 centimeters by 20 centimeters by 20 centimeters are appropriate. Superb Parrots will also need wood shavings for their nests. Immature Superb Parrots have similar coloring to the females, but have brown irises. Soft insect food is appropriate for hand rearing Superb Parrots. They acquire their adult coloration anywhere from six to ten months of age. Females are sexually mature at one year of age and males at two years. Superb Parrots have been crossed with Princess, King, Regent and Crimson-winged Parrots.
They are fairly common in Australia's New South Wales and Victoria provinces, and prefer to stay in forests or tree-dotted grasslands near water.
The Superb or Green Leek Parrot is a strikingly elegant, highly social bird who needs constant companionship to feel comfortable.
In the wild, Superb Parrots are almost always found in flocks, only sometimes in pairs. The roost in the forest canopy during hot parts of the day and forage both in the canopy and on the ground at dawn and in the evening. When forced to migrate due to harsh weather, Superb Parrots are good distance-fliers and call to each other constantly in a voice much like that of a Cockatiel. While feeding, the flock mutters softly to each other. In captivity, Superb Parrots need a mate or a group of other Superbs in order to be truly at ease. They are very quiet in an aviary and have good dispositions, acclimatizing easily. Superb Parrots are extremely hardy and will thrive on a good basic seed mix supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots, rosehips and greenfood.
Superb Parrots are also known as Barraband Parakeets or Parrots, or Scarlet-breasted Parrots. They also like eucalyptus stands. Superb Parrots love grain crops and grass seed, so they are not a favorite with farmers. They are, however, adored by aviculturalists and make a lovely addition to aviaries.
Superb Parrots eat grain, seeds, berries, fruits, nuts, flower, nectar and even thistles!