Nov-Dec 2015, Volume 25 Issue 6

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Hahn's Macaws - The smallest of all Macaws

The smallest of the macaw family and often referred to as a mini macaw the Hahn’s or Red-shouldered Macaw (Diopsittaca nobilis, Linnaeus 1758) originates from South and Central America. This small, robust species occupies a large range and occurs alongside many of the larger species of macaw such as the Blue and Gold, Scarlet and Green-winged. Lacking the bright gaudy colours and size that the large macaws possess they are renowned for their playfulness, character and small size. In fact the size and breeding of this macaw is more closely aligned with the larger Aratinga family of Conures. If it wasn’t for the small face patch it may well have been classified as one.

Norfolk Island Green Parrot radio-tracking project

Thanks to a recently funded radio-tracking program by The Parrot Trust of Australia, Parks Australia researchers have gained a greater understanding of the endangered Norfolk Island Green Parrot. This important project, aimed at filling many knowledge gaps in the green parrot’s ecology, investigated family dynamics, home range size and possible causes of mortality. This invaluable information will enable Norfolk Island National Park to prioritise predator control and providing nesting sites. Although we are yet to complete the analysing of data we are already seeing some encouraging results. The tracking program was run over the past six months, with 16 fledglings having had trackers attached.

The fight to save the very Superb Parrot

The superb parrot, once common in south western NSW, is being threatened with local extinction. Habitat destruction has been key to its decline. To save the bird, an alliance of volunteers and council workers have planted 40,000 trees. But is it too late to help the species? Ann Jones reports. A beautiful green parrot was due to fly in from its annual migration. It was the superb parrot (Polytelis swainsonii) and, 17 years ago, Ross McClelland had headed to the South West Slopes region in New South Wales to see the iconic bird in flight. But the moment was clouded with melancholy. The superb parrot was in trouble. Habitat destruction had made this bird a threatened species. Then suddenly we do see these localised extinctions happening.

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