The Superb Parrot is a distinctive large, bright grass-green parrot with a long, narrow tail and sharply back-angled wings in flight. Males have yellow foreheads and throats and a red crescent that separates the throat from the green breast and belly. Females are slightly duller green and have a dull, light blue wash in place of the males’ red and yellow markings.
The Superb Parrot is found throughout eastern inland NSW. On the South-western Slopes their core breeding area is roughly bounded by Cowra and Yass in the east, and Grenfell, Cootamundra and Coolac in the west. Birds breeding in this region are mainly absent during winter, when they migrate north to the region of the upper Namoi and Gwydir Rivers. The other main breeding sites are in the Riverina along the corridors of the Murray, Edward and Murrumbidgee Rivers where birds are present all year round. It is estimated that there are less than 5000 breeding pairs left in the wild.
Habitat and ecology
- Inhabit Box-Gum, Box-Cypress-pine and Boree Woodlands and River Red Gum Forest.
- In the Riverina the birds nest in the hollows of large trees (dead or alive) mainly in tall riparian River Red Gum Forest or Woodland. On the South West Slopes nest trees can be in open Box-Gum Woodland or isolated paddock trees. Species known to be used are Blakely’s Red Gum, Yellow Box, Apple Box and Red Box.
- Nest in small colonies, often with more than one nest in a single tree.
- Breed between September and January.
- May forage up to 10 km from nesting sites, primarily in grassy box woodland.
- Feed in trees and understorey shrubs and on the ground and their diet consists mainly of grass seeds and herbaceous plants. Also eaten are fruits, berries, nectar, buds, flowers, insects and grain.