Christmas Colours

Every year we spend Christmas with my aunt, uncle and cousins at their place in Turramurra. Apart from the delicious Christmas spread they put on, the other main attraction is the birds that always come visiting their backyard. Last year a pair of kookaburras watched our feasting on the patio and this year it was a few lovely king parrots (Alisterus scapularis). My cousins told me there were a few nests nearby and that the males and females take turns sitting on the eggs. On the 25th it must have been the males’ turn as we only saw the females during the day. Both genders are very appropriately ‘dressed’ for the season with the males bright red with green wings/back and the females, as you can see here, mostly green with a red chest.

Birds in Backyards tells me that these parrots nest in tree hollows which would explain why they are common in Turramurra. The area is lush with greenery, with large gardens and tall trees lining the streets. I also found it interesting that the site says that although we see these birds as distinctly red and green, under ultraviolet light certain feathers on their wings have a yellow glow. As many birds can see into that spectrum these parrots may look quite different to each other than they do to us!

Leave a Reply