Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius)


French: Perruche à collier jaune German: Ringsittich Spanish: Perico de Port Lincoln
Other common names: Ringneck Parrot

Psittacus zonarius


, 1805,

Port Lincoln, South Australia


Molecular and morphological analysis#R has shown that the characters defining the forms semitorquatus, macgillivrayi and barnardi are unstable and inconstant, and that genetically there is poor evidence for recognizing more than one species (B. zonarius), with just two subspecies (zonarius and barnardi). While a single species of Barnardius is accepted here, with synonymization of races occidentalis and whitei (recognized in HBW), four populations are judged to be sufficiently distinct, despite remarkable degree of variation within each one, to warrant subspecific recognition (following main published authority#R). Forms myrtae and dundasi are, like occidentalis, included within nominate zonarius; form whitei is judged to be an intergrade between nominate and barnardi. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. z. semitorquatus (Quoy & Gaimard, 1830) – Twenty-eight Ringneck – extreme SW Western Australia.
  • B. z. zonarius (Shaw, 1805) – Port Lincoln Ringneck – W & SC Western Australia E to SC Northern Territory and W & C South Australia.
  • B. z. macgillivrayi (North, 1900) – Cloncurry Ringneck – E Northern Territory and NW Queensland.
  • B. z. barnardi (Vigors & Horsfield, 1827) – Mallee Ringneck – SE Australia.
  • Feral population (presumably nominate race) around Melbourne, Victoria.

    Descriptive notes

    32–44 cm; 121–200 g (nominate group), 105–143 g (barnardi group). Head dull blue-black sometimes with red frontal band; yellow collar broken at... read more


    Variety of calls including a disyllabic “whee-eck”, a short alarm “vatch”, a strident “put-kleepit-... read more


    Wide variety used, including dense coastal forests, wheatbelt farmlands, mallee and semi-arid ... read more

    Food and feeding

    In forest areas, fruits and sometimes nectar of Eucalyptus, especially marri (E. calophylla), and other species,... read more


    Nominate group breeds Aug–Feb in C & S of range, sometimes with two broods, and Jun–Sept in N of range; barnardi... read more


    Normally sedentary in more wooded parts of range, but in arid country nomadic movements recorded, e... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. A fairly common species throughout one-third of Australian continent, and abundant in Western Australian wheatbelt (considered perhaps the... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius). 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 30 March 2020).