Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Australian King-parrot (Alisterus scapularis)


French: Perruche royale German: Königssittich Spanish: Papagayo australiano

Psittacus scapularis

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1816,

New South Wales, Australia


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. s. minor Mathews, 1911 – NE Australia (NE Queensland).
  • A. s. scapularis (M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1816) – E Australia (NC Queensland S to S Victoria).
  • Descriptive notes

    42–43 cm; 209–275 g. Very similar to A. amboinensis but larger, with mantle and upper back oil green, inner series of upperwing-coverts pale green,... read more


    Commonest vocalization a repeated clear metallic short whistle, e.g. “kee...kee...kee”, either... read more


    Rain forest, Eucalyptus woodland, dense riparian scrub and occasionally adjacent savanna... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds of eucalypts, acacias and Angophora particularly favoured, also of Baloghia lucida, plus fruits and berries of ... read more


    Sept–Jan. Nest in hollow limb or in deep hole in tall forest tree. Eggs 3–6, usually 5; incubation, by female only, lasts c. 20... read more


    Notably in S of range flocks descend from mountains in late autumn and remain in lowlands until... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Generally common but lost from cleared and afforested areas.

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Boesman, P. (2019). Australian King-parrot (Alisterus scapularis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 15 December 2019).