Meet the Western Ground Parrot

The critically endangered parrot once lived in coastal heathland ranging all the way from Dongara to Israelite Bay. Today only one population of less than 150 birds is known to survive at Cape Arid National Park and adjacent Nuytsland Nature Reserve in the remote southeastern corner of Western Australia.


The Western Ground Parrot is a medium-sized ground-dwelling bird with a rather long tail. Its green, yellow and black plumage offers great camouflage. Unlike most parrots, this bird is very secretive spending most of its day feeding close to the ground in dense, floristically diverse heathland. It is capable of flying, but generally will only fly between roosting and feeding areas or when flushed. It flies low over the vegetation when flushed. Only at dawn and dusk it gives a call which has been likened to the sound of an old-fashioned boiling kettle.

Its varied diet consists of seeds, flowers, green fruit and even leaves. While the bird will feed in bushland recovering from fire, it requires long unburnt habitat for shelter and also to breed.

Very little is known about the parrot’s breeding habits in the wild with the last active nest discovered in 1913. It was described as a slight depression among low prickly vegetation containing 3 eggs. Fledglings have since been recorded between September and November. The young leave the nest before they have reached their full flying capabilities.

Juvenile ground parrot
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