I was caught out by an imposter in the park this week.
Parrot in a tree
I saw a parrot in the park when I was walking the dog. It wasn’t an Australian ringneck, but it was about the same size and shape. I managed to get a picture of it in the tree on my phone as you can see. If I zoom in close, I can just about see the galahs who were keeping him company. It wasn’t a bird that I’d seen before in Oz though.
So I went and got a camera, and took this. Then I went home, zoomed in, and got out my bird book. Not a lorikeet, not an Australian ringneck, but definitely a parrot. After much searching, I caved in and e-mailed John at Birdlife Australia for help with an I.D.
Then a friend suggested looking up an Indian ringneck. Mystery solved. Definitely an Indian ringneck. But my googling also brought back an ad for a lost pet – an Indian ringneck from the next suburb along who had escaped a few weeks ago. I phoned the owners to let them know, but I’m not sure how they’ll catch him. He seems very happy though. I’ve seen him a couple of times since, still in the company of the galahs, and still eating from the same trees.
Australian Ringneck Eating
Australian Ringneck, Ringnecked Parrot, Twenty-Eight, Ringnecked Parakeet. I struggled over what to call this post as the birds seem to have plenty of different names. I went for ‘Australian Ringneck’ in the end as that’s what my book gave as a name that covers both that you can see here.
‘Twenty-eight, Twenty-eight’ is the call that the common local subspecies makes as he flies through the trees, hence his nickname. I often see them but very rarely get a good picture – it really shouldn’t be that hard. They usually seem to fly in twos or threes. Then they land high in the trees to feed, where they are obscured by leaves and branches. This parrot is definitely a ‘Twenty-eight’ as he has a dark green chest.
This one however, is probably a true ringneck because of his yellow chest. It’s almost impossible to know though because they interbreed, so in-between markings are common. Like the other parrots they chatter to each other constantly as they feed.
They aren’t nearly as confident as most of the other parrots and cockatoos that I’ve come across and they aren’t as ‘cheeky’. Far more sensible, and far more focused on their feeding. So much so that they won’t stand still for a picture. There were 3 of them feeding by a tree but every one of the photos with more than 1 on was blurred or out of focus because they just can’t be still. They’re really pretty though and it’s a treat when they feed on the floor and let me get close.