Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Red-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae)


French: Perruche de Sparrman German: Ziegensittich Spanish: Perico maorí cabecirrojo
Other common names: Red-crowned Parakeet, Reischek's Parakeet (hochstetteri)

Psittacus Novae Zelandiae


, 1787,

Dusky Sound, South Island, New Zealand


Races cookii and saisseti have been considered separate species based on genetic differences in accordance with the phylogenetic species concept#R, but their differences are not striking: saisseti is distinct from nominate and other taxa in novaezelandiae on account of its yellower face and underparts (yellow making red of crown slightly more fiery) (1), longer tail (obvious distinction from cyanurus, hochstetteri and nominate, but less so from cookii and †erythrotis) (probably only 1); cookii is same colour as nominate and taxa to the S of it, but has almost as long a tail as saisseti and much the largest bill, with exception perhaps of †subflavescens, which was yellowish below (like saisseti). Further research and evidence needed on these taxa. In recent times, race hochstetteri commonly treated as a distinct species on basis of molecular data#R#R#R; it was also suggested that †erythrotis be regarded as full species with hochstetteri as a race#R but this was later withdrawn#R, following evidence that the †erythrotis specimen used in that study had been mislabelled#R; hochstetteri has been listed as a race of C. malherbi#R, apparently in error. Six extant subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. n. saisseti J. P. Verreaux & Des Murs, 1860 – New Caledonian Parakeet – New Caledonia.
  • C. n. cookii (G. R. Gray, 1859) – Norfolk Parakeet – Norfolk I.
  • C. n. subflavescens Salvadori, 1891 – Lord Howe I.
  • C. n. cyanurus Salvadori, 1891 – Kermadec Is (Raoul I, Herald Group, Macauley I#R).
  • C. n. novaezelandiae (Sparrman, 1787) – Red-fronted Parakeet – New Zealand (formerly abundant on North I and South I), Stewart I, Auckland Is and many offshore islands. Probably extinct on mainland, but some recent records may involve escaped cagebirds and dispersers from wild or translocated populations#R#R#R.
  • C. n. chathamensis Oliver, 1930 – Chatham Is (S Chatham I, Pitt I, Mangere I and South East I#R).
  • C. n. hochstetteri (Reischek, 1889) – Antipodes Is.
  • C. n. erythrotis (Wagler, 1832) – Macquarie I.
  • Descriptive notes

    27 cm; 50–113 g. Green, more yellowish below; frontal band through and behind eye, and forehead to mid-crown, red; patch each side of rump red; outer webs of primaries... read more


    Commonest call a nasal rattling chatter “kehkehkehkehkeh...”, often in well-separated bursts of c.... read more


    Originally throughout native forests at all altitudes, now chiefly in remaining forest patches on... read more

    Food and feeding

    Much seasonal variation in diet, with buds and blossoms being consumed in spring, fruit in summer and seeds in autumn, with seeds and fruit... read more


    Nov–Jan in New Caledonia, but any time of year elsewhere in N; Oct–Dec in S. Nest in hole in tree or cliff bank, in natural... read more


    In early days of human settlement irruptive behaviour was noted at certain localities, and there... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Lord Howe I endemic race subflavescens extinct since 1869; Macquarie I endemic race erythrotis extinct since 1890.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N., Christie, D.A., Boesman, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Red-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae). 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 7 December 2019).