Thursday, September 10, 2009

Australian ringnecks

Australian ringnecks (Barnardius zonarius) are very common in Perth, according to "Guide to the wildlife of the Perth region". I have seen them a number of times on the UWA campus, mostly when I haven't got a camera in hand. And today I saw four of them in the UWA boatshed carpark.

These brilliantly colored birds, only found in Australia, are recognized by a yellow ring around the hindneck.

There are four subspecies of Australian ringnecks. In Perth, there are two subspecies: the Port Lincoln parrot (Barbardius zonarius zonarius) and the Twenty Eight parrot (Barbardius zonarius semitorquatus).

The Twenty Eight parrot has a prominent red band on the forehead and all green underparts (see image on Wikipedia ), which distinguish it from the Port Lincoln parrot. The Port Lincoln parrot lack the red frontal band and is green and yellow underneath. So probably these birds in the photos are the Port Lincoln parrot ( Barbardius zonarius zonarius). These two birds can apparently be distinguished based on their calls, the Twenty Eight parrots' calls sound like "TWENTY EIGHT" while the Port Lincoln parrots' sound like "TWENTY". Amazing! I must listen carefully next time.

I found this one in a tree near my Faculty building (17/5/09).

Birds in Backyards - Australian ringneck
Wikipedia - Australian ringneck
Guide to the wildlife of the Perth region (Simon
Nevill Publications)

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