Family Parrots (Psittacidae)


Paradise Parrot (Psephotellus pulcherrimus)


French: Perruche de paradis German: Paradiessittich Spanish: Perico del Paraíso

Platycercus pulcherrimus


, 1845,

Darling Downs, Queensland, Australia


Previously placed in genus Psephotus, or sometimes in Platycercus. Forms a species-group with P. dissimilis and P. chrysopterygius. Monotypic.


E Australia: C & S (and possibly N) Queensland; perhaps also N New South Wales, but no confirmed records#R.

Thought to have become extinct as a result of the drought of 1902 until rediscovered in 1918#R. Last confirmed observation in 1928; some credible reports continued into 1930s and 1940s#R; a claim of five individuals observed in 1990#R, but species now regarded as extinct#R. Its demise resulted primarily from reduction in food supply caused by drought and overgrazing#R; contributory factors include changes in fire frequencies and the spread of introduced prickly pears (Opuntia)#R, disease, trapping and egg-collecting#R, nest predation by both introduced and native species#R, and clearance of Eucalyptus#R. During the later stages of the species’ decline, inbreeding probably inhibited the fertility of individuals#R.

Descriptive notes

27 cm. Frontal band red, area round eye yellow, crown to nape black, rest of head and breast turquoise blue with greener tinging on cheeks and central breast; belly to... read more


Open forest and savanna woodlands with grass ground-cover, especially in broad riverine valleys.

Food and feeding

Seeds of native grasses, taken on ground.


Recorded in Sept, Dec and Mar. Nest a chamber excavated in a terrestrial termitarium, or occasionally in a sandy riverbank. Eggs 3–5. read more


No information; presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

EXTINCT. CITES I. Demise attributed to burning seeding grass to provide green growth for cattle, combined with the effects of drought, overgrazing, the spread of prickly... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2020). Paradise Parrot (Psephotellus pulcherrimus). 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 19 February 2020).