New Caledonian Parakeet (Cyanoramphus saisseti)

New Caledonian Parakeet

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Cyanoramphus saisseti | [authority] Verreaux and Des Murs, 1860 | [UK] New Caledonian Parakeet | [FR] Oriole a tete d’or | [DE] Ziegensittich | [ES] Perico Maori Rojo | [NL] Nieuw-Caledoni roodvoorhoofdkakariki | [copyright picture] Philip de Pous


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Cyanoramphus saisseti AU New Caledonia


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 red forehead, crown, band from lores to behind eyes and patch on each side of rump; purple/blue outer webs of flight feathers; underparts yellow/green. Bill silver/grey tipped with dark grey. Eye red. More yellow on face and underparts than novaezelandiae; paler and brighter red on crown.

Listen to the sound of New Caledonian Parakeet

[audio: Caledonian Parakeet.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Patrik Aberg

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 27 cm size max.: 29 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 5  


Australasia : New Caledonia. The species is known from two specimens collected in 1859, and another collected, but not
preserved, in 1913 on New Caledonia (to France). The first specimens are from an unknown
locality and the 1913 record from “the forests behind Oubatche” which corresponds to Mt Ignambi.
There are unconfirmed reports from the 1880s to the 1920s, and an experienced forester reported
two birds in 1953 or 1954 in the central mountains and again in 1976, west of Mt Panie. However,
in 1998 there were no records during several months of specific searching, including on Mt


The earliest reports were that it inhabited forest and occasionally fed in Erythrina trees. The 1953/4 and 1976 reports were from Melaleuca savanna/humid forest ecotone, while the 1920s report was from low scrubland. Most closely-related species are nomadic, occur primarily in montane forest, but range into lowland forests, for which they may have a seasonal dependence.


They are usually observed in pairs or small groups in treetops or on outer branches of bushes outside the breeding season. The mating system of New Caledonian Parakeets is probably cooperative polyandry. Clutch size is 2-5 eggs.

Feeding habits

They often forage on or near the ground. They gather at springs and water holes on islands with limited water supply to drink and bathe. Occasionally flocks fly to neighboring islands to forage. Diet consists of leaves, buds, flowers, shoots, seeds, fruit, berries, nuts and other parts of plants.

Video New Caledonian Parakeet


copyright: Luc Fazio


This species has been uplisted to Vulnerable because it has a single small population which is suspected to be declining owing to predation by invasive species; its stronghold is in an area under threat from nickel mining and it may undergo a rapid decline in the near future.
Montane humid forest is not under threat, but it is possible that this species has a requirement for other habitats, some of which, notably lowland semi-deciduous forests, have nearly disappeared from the island. Several Charmosyna lorikeets have undergone severe population declines or fluctuations of unknown cause. It is possible that introduced disease (such as avian malaria) or mammals (notably rats) may have been a cause of decline.
New Caledonian Parakeet status Vulnerable



Distribution map

New Caledonian Parakeet distribution range map

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