Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Critically Endangered

Malherbe's Parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi)


French: Perruche de Malherbe German: Malherbesittich Spanish: Perico maorí montano
Other common names: Orange-fronted Parakeet

Cyanoramphus Malherbi


, 1857,

South Island, New Zealand


Long treated as a colour morph of C. auriceps but now generally recognized as a separate species#R on basis mainly of assortative mating#R and bill morphology#R, backed up by molecular data#R. Form hochstetteri of C. novaezelandiae has been treated as race of present species#R, apparently in error. Monotypic.


Formerly scattered through most of New Zealand; now confined to N South I. Translocated to several islands off South I (Chalky, Maud, Blumine) and off North I (Tuhua)#R.

Descriptive notes

20 cm. Very similar to C. auriceps but frontal band orange, crown pale yellow, patches either side of rump orange. Immature almost lacks frontal band.


Commonest call a quite nasal rattling chatter, “kehkehkehkehkeh...”, similar to both C.... read more


Fringes of Nothofagus forest, in one area being found breeding only at 600–900 m in... read more

Food and feeding

Scale insects, flower and leaf buds, flowers, young leaves, berries and seeds.


Oct. Nest in hole in living or dead tree. Eggs 3.


No information.

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. CITES II. In 19th century, distributed widely throughout North I, most of South I, and Stewart Is of New Zealand, but range and population have... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N., Sharpe, C.J. & Boesman, P. (2018). Malherbe's Parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi). 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 23 March 2018).