Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii)


French: Perruche de Barraband German: Schildsittich Spanish: Perico soberbio

Psittacus Swainsonii


, 1826,

New South Wales, Australia


Forms a parapatric species-pair with P. anthopeplus. Monotypic.


Interior SE Australia (NC New South Wales to N Victoria), breeding only in S of range (Riverine, Nathalia area); winters N to Namoi R.

Descriptive notes

40 cm; 133–157 g. Green, with pinkish red bill, yellow forehead to mid-crown tinged blue on hindcrown; yellow lower face, chin and throat with a broad red band across... read more


Commonest vocalization is a rolling, grating, somewhat husky “currack”, typically repeated by all... read more


Riverine eucalypt woodland dominated by red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), also... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds of grasses, herbs and bushes, e.g. Erodium, Stipa, Danthonia, Hordeum murinum, Medicago... read more


Sept–Dec. Nest is situated in hollow limb or hole in tree, generally high (11–51 m) over water in a riverine eucalypt; often... read more


N parts of range only occupied by part of population in winter, Apr–Aug; yet also evidence of... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in South-east Australia EBA. Numbers apparently tumbled in 1920s as an accidental effect... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N., Boesman, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii). 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 13 December 2019).