Family Parrots (Psittacidae)


Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis)


French: Perruche nocturne German: Höhlensittich Spanish: Perico nocturno

Geopsittacus occidentalis


, 1861,

West Australia


In the past was frequently placed in separate genus Geopsittacus. Monotypic.


Interior of W & C Australia, where likely widespread in 19th century. Presumed extinct for decades, but carcasses found in NW Queensland (near Boulia in 1990 and Diamantina in 2006), three individuals reported in Pilbara region (Western Australia) in 2005, other possible sightings made in several regions#R, and photographs of a live bird obtained in 2013#R. Possibly a very scarce and cryptic species that could occur, inland, anywhere from Western Australia to W Queensland and NW New South Wales#R.

Descriptive notes

23 cm. Mottled dull green and black above and below, with green ear-coverts and plain yellow belly and undertail-coverts; flight-feathers and tail blackish brown, outer tail... read more


Call is a “ding-ding”, reminiscent of the notes of a Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys),... read more


Spinifex (Triodia) hummock grassland on stony ridges and rocky breakaways, chenopod low... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds of spinifex found in one specimen. In a recent sighting, circumstance suggests feeding on seeds of Enneapogon purpurascens.


Nest is a platform of sticks on or near the ground in an enlarged cavity tunnelled into a dense tussock. Eggs reportedly 4.


Possibly a wanderer, possibly sedentary, perhaps depending on locality or climate; reported in past... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. CITES I. Habitat degradation caused by altered fire regimes and livestock grazing, compounded by predation by introduced cats and foxes and possibly by reduction... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N., de Juana, E. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis). 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 16 December 2019).