Antipodes Parakeet (Cyanoramphus unicolor)

Antipodes Parakeet

Antipodes Parakeet

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Cyanoramphus unicolor | [authority] Lear, 1831 | [UK] Antipodes Parakeet | [FR] Perruche des Antipodes | [DE] Einfarb-Sittich | [ES] Perico de las Antipodas | [NL] Groene Karakiri | [copyright picture] Birdlife


Monotypic species


Species of the genus Cyanoramphus occur only in the New Zealand region and New Caledonia, except for two species known from the Society Islands, both of which are now extinct. They are small to medium sized parakeets with long tails and predominately green plumage. Most species are forest species, although several of the subantarctic species live in open grassland. The genus formerly had a disjunct distribution, with two species found in the Society Islands and the majority of the genus ranging from New Caledonia to Macquarie Island, but absent from the 4100 km in between. Despite many fossil birds being found in the islands between these two areas being found none of these were of undescribed Cyanoramphus species.

Physical charateristics

Both adults olive/green plumage; bright emerald green crown and face; breast and abdomen more yellowish; outer web of flight feathers blue; green tail, edged with green/yellow. Bill silver/grey with dark grey tip. Eye orange/red.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 30 cm size max.: 32 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 5  
      eggs max.: 6  


Australasia : Antipodes Islands. Cyanoramphus unicolor is endemic to the uninhabited and protected islands of the Antipodes, New Zealand. It is common on the main island (20 km2) and Bollons Island (0.5 km2), and occurs in small numbers on Leeward (0.1 km2), Inner Windward (0.1 km2) and Archway (0.1 km2) islets. In 1978, the population was estimated at 2,000-3,000 birds3. Population trends are unknown, but numbers are likely to be stable.


It is found throughout the island habitats, but is most common in the tall, tussock grassland and sedges. Also in areas of prickly fern and Coprosma antipoda scrub. Commonest on steeper slopes and near water.


It nests in underground burrows, often more than one metre long, in tussock or sedge. In captivity, clutch-size is between five and six, but only one to three fledged young are generally seen with adults in the wild. Young probably start breeding at one year

Feeding habits

Plants form the main part of the diet, supplemented with seeds, berries and flowers.

Video Antipodes Parakeet


copyright: Peter Fraser


Chance introductions of carnivorous mammals to the tiny predator-free islands where this species lives could quickly impact it. It is therefore classified as Vulnerable.
Introduced mice may compete for food. Accidental introduction of predators such as rats Rattus spp., cats and mustelids Mustela spp. is a potential threat.
Antipodes Parakeet status Vulnerable



Distribution map

Antipodes Parakeet distribution range map

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