Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Mulga Parrot (Psephotellus varius)


French: Perruche multicolore German: Vielfarbensittich Spanish: Perico variado

Psephotus varius

A. H. Clark

, 1910,

apparently the head of Spencer Gulf, South Australia


Forms exsul and ethelae considered undiagnosable. Monotypic.


SC Australia from extreme W to interior SE.

Descriptive notes

27–28 cm; 53–70 g. Predominantly bright green, but with yellow frontal band, red hindcrown, yellow lesser wing-coverts, dark blue on outer wing-coverts, blackish... read more


Commonest call is a sharply upslurred whistle, “huweet!”, either repeated at regular intervals or... read more


Lightly wooded grasslands, mallee, arid scrublands, with range largely coincident with that of... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds of grasses, herbs, trees and shrubs, including mulga and A. tetragonophylla, mistletoe Amyema murrayi, the... read more


Jul–Dec, but nesting extends virtually throughout year if conditions favourable. Nest in hollow limb or hole in tree, high up when... read more


No large-scale seasonal movements occur, with some pairs visiting nest-sites throughout the year.... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Locally common; uncommon in SW Australia. Although some decline in numbers may have occurred since European settlement, there is no... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & Boesman, P. (2020). Mulga Parrot (Psephotellus varius). 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 April 2020).