Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Species of the Day: Antipodes Island Green Parakeet
Scientific Name: Cyanoramphus unicolor
Adult Size: A little over 11 1/2 inches long
Adult Coloration: Both adults have olive or green plumage, bright emerald green crown and face; breast and abdomen more yellowish; outer-web of the flight feathers are blue, green tail edged with yellow. Bill is silver/grey with a dark grey tip. Red/orange eyes.
Call: Calls are described as resonant and penetrating. Similar to the calls of other Cyanoramphus sp. but much deeper in tone. Also makes a soft chattering noise.
Apparently not kept outside of New Zealand, the Antipodes Island Green Parakeet is an active, yet rather quiet bird. They are not shy and are quite inquisitive, and will accept new owners readily. They can be kept communally with other compatible species of birds, but are very susceptible to disease during acclimation, so a quarantine for new birds will be necessary.
Housing: 11 1/2 X 3 1/2 X 6 1/2 ft aviary
Diet: Leafy Greens such as Swiss chard, dandelion greens, chickweed, Romaine lettuce and sowthistle; small seed mixes of hemp, millet and canary seed with limited amounts of sprouted sunflower seeds; fruit such as apples, pear, bananas, cactus fruits and oranges; vegetables including carrots, celery, green beans peas in the pod and corn on the cob; small amounts of insects, and commercial kibble.
Enrichment: Provide with un-treated flowering branches with buds and a shallow water bowl for bathing. If possible, soil for digging will be greatly appreciated by the birds.
World Population: 2,000 to 3,000 individuals
Range: Found on the Antipodes Islands in New Zealand.
Habitat: Is found in tall Poa littorosa tussock grasslands, open scrublands and Carex sedge. Also found in areas of prickly ferns and Coprosma antipoda scrublands. Most commonly found on steeper slopes and near a permanent water source.
Wild Diet: Eats leaves, seeds, berries, carrion and the eggs of sea birds.
Ecology: Found singly or in small groups. Feeds mainly in the morning and evenings. The birds are very inquisitive, and seem to have no fear of humans. They enjoy bathing in shallow pools of water and live in burrows.
Threat Summary: The introduction of non-native invasive species and predators have had a huge impact on this species
IUCN Rating: Vulnerable
CITES Rating: Appendix II