Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Ground Parrot (Pezoporus wallicus)


French: Perruche terrestre German: Erdsittich Spanish: Perico terrestre

Psittacus wallicus


, 1792,

New South Wales, Australia


W race flaviventris recently proposed as full species based on difference from E wallicus + leachi of 4.4–5.1% in mitochondrial DNA#R#R, but morphological differences very small, flaviventris possessing slightly yellower belly including total lack of barring on lower belly (score 1). Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. w. flaviventris North, 1911 – Western Ground Parrot – coastal SW Australia (Fitzgerald R and Cape Arid).
  • P. w. wallicus (Kerr, 1792) – Eastern Ground Parrot – coastal E & SE Australia from SE Queensland to W Victoria.
  • P. w. leachi Mathews, 1912 – Tasmania.
  • Descriptive notes

    30 cm; mean 130 g. Red frontal band; plain green on face and breast; crown green with black streaks; upperparts green mottled black with yellow buff chevrons and spots;... read more


    Peculiar high-pitched song-like vocalization primarily heard at dawn and dusk. Either a series of... read more


    Generally found in coastal graminoid and adjacent montane heathlands up to 1800 m, optimally 5... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds and green shoots of grasses and herbs, with a preference for buttongrass (Mesomelana sphaerocephala) but also ... read more


    Generally Jul–Dec; once Mar. Nest a shallow scrape in soil lined with stalks or leaves, often at the base of a tussock or bush and... read more


    Reputedly sedentary, based on view that it is a weak flier, but actually flight is powerful and at... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES I. Loss of habitat to urban and agricultural development, including inappropriate burning and establishment of pine plantations, along the... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Boesman, P. (2019). Ground Parrot (Pezoporus wallicus). 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 8 December 2019).