Anthill parrot

The beautifully coloured Golden-Shouldered parrot is listed as Endangered. It is said that there are more Golden-Shouldered parrots in birdcages than in the wild. Nearly a century after the extinction of the paradise parrot, there are conservation efforts taking place to protect the survival of its cousin, the Golden-Shouldered parrot. https://www.bushheritage.org.au/species/golden-shouldered-parrot

The Golden-Shouldered parrot was found across most of the Cape York Peninsula, Australia, but now it is only found in an area of approximately 3,000 km2.

A Golden-shouldered Parrot poised for action. Photo Geoffrey Jones (BarraImaging.com.au).

The choice of the Golden-shouldered Parrots’ nesting site is unusual. They nest in conical termite mounds. The Golden-shouldered Parrots are also known as antbed or anthill parrots. They make their nests just after the wet season, when the termite mounds are soft enough for them to excavate. The mounds insulate the chicks on cold nights, but their timing must be just right – if termites are still active, they can cover over the nest entrances, or kill the eggs by cementing them to the bottom of the nest. Survival is a difficult business!

Grazing by cattle and feral pigs exacerbates the plight of the Golden-shouldered Parrots. They require suitably old (30-50 years) termite mounds to nest in. As such, the loss of, or damage to these crucial nesting sites has an impact on their population.

This Golden-shouldered Parrot that I painted is part of a larger painting. I painted a variety of Australian birds in one painting, but I wanted this blog post to feature and focus just on the Golden-shouldered Parrots. How can you not but relish that gorgeous turquoise colour!! It’s an amazing bird, as all birds are.

The Golden-shouldered parrot

I hope that you are keeping well and safe.

Warm regards, Patricia (PJ) Hopwood-Wade

http://www.pjpaintings.com

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