Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Bluebonnet (Northiella haematogaster)


French: Perruche à bonnet bleu German: Blutbauchsittich Spanish: Perico cariazul

Platycercus hæmatogaster


, 1838,

New South Wales, Australia


Race haematorrhoa previously attributed erroneously to Gould#R. Race narethae may be an incipient species; this also supported by differences in mithochondrial DNA#R. Remaining races intergrade to some extent. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. h. haematorrhoa (Bonaparte, 1856) – Red-winged Bluebonnet – S Queensland and N New South Wales.
  • N. h. haematogaster (Gould, 1838) – Common Bluebonnet – SW Queensland, W New South Wales and NW Victoria to SE South Australia.
  • N. h. pallescens (Salvadori, 1891) – L Eyre region of NE South Australia and neighbouring areas in SW Queensland and NW New South Wales.
  • N. h. narethae (H. L. White, 1921) – Naretha Bluebonnet – SE Western Australia to extreme SW South Australia.
  • Descriptive notes

    28 cm; 74–105 g. Forehead, lores and face purplish blue; head, breast, mantle, back and rump ochre shading to yellow on belly which has large central red blotch; bend... read more


    Commonest call is a harsh emphatic “chack” or “chak-a-chack”, typically repeated in loose series.... read more


    Arid and semi-arid open woodlands dominated by Myoporum, Casuarina, Callitris... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds of herbs, including Atriplex vesicarum, Kochia sedifolia, Bassia and Amaranthus, fruit, berries... read more


    Jul–Dec, with some variation depending on rains, and evidence of two seasons following good rainfall. Nest in hollow in tree; ... read more


    Seasonal fluctuations in numbers of the race narethae appear to occur, suggesting local... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Fairly common except at edges of range. Clearance of native vegetation in Victoria needs to be halted to preserve shelter... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Boesman, P. (2019). Bluebonnet (Northiella haematogaster). 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 11 December 2019).