Princess Parrot (Polytelis alexandrae)

Princess Parrot

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Polytelis alexandrae | [authority] Gould, 1863 | [UK] Princess Parrot | [FR] Perruche Princess de Galles | [DE] Alexandrasittich | [ES] Perico Princesa | [NL] Prinses van Wales-parkiet | [copyright picture] Jason Coburn


Monotypic species


The genus Polytelis (literally translates into ‘magnificent’) of the family Psittacidae consists of three species long-tailed parrot endemic to Australia

Physical charateristics

Male-rose/pink chin, throat, and foreneck; grey/olive breast and abdomen, abdomen variably washed with grey/purple; rose/pink thighs and lower flanks; olive/green hindneck, mantle and upper back; purple/blue lower back to upper tail coverts; wing patch yellow/green and very visible; blue/green primary feathers; olive/green tail with rose/pink margins to inner webs of side tail feathers. Bill orange/red. Eye orange/red. Female-in general duller than male; duller green upper wing coverts, less yellow; shorter tail.

Listen to the sound of Princess Parrot

[audio: Parrot.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 45 cm size max.: 47 cm
incubation min.: 18 days incubation max.: 20 days
fledging min.: 33 days fledging max.: 37 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 4  
      eggs max.: 6  


Australasia : Central Australia. It is found in the central and western arid zone of Australia. At most sites, it appears at intervals of more than 20 years, but around Lake Tobin, Western Australia, birds were seen regularly through the 1990s, although there have been few records since 2000. This may indicate that it is a core area from which birds move to central highlands during droughts in the western deserts. The Great Victoria Desert might contain a second core area.


Sandy deserts wiyh hummock grassland of Triodia and Plectrachne, usually with a shrub layer, stands of Casuarina in sandy country, Acacia scrublands and eucalypts, bordering water courses, this last commonly used for nesting.


Four to six white eggs are laid which are incubated for 19 days. The chicks leave the nest about 35 days after hatching.These parakeets are truly opportunistic breeders, with pairs choosing to nest when food is plentiful. They nest in a hollow in a eucalypt or desert oak.

Feeding habits

Feeds on seeds of spinifex and mulga grass and nectar. Individuals feed on the ground and may be quite approachable.

Video Princess Parrot


copyright: Bill Wayman


This species is classified as Near Threatened because it has a small population. Although all mature individuals may occur as a single widespread subpopulation, it is thought to be experiencing moderate fluctuations at present, rather than an overall decline, and thus a higher level of threat category is not justified.
Large-scale movements and sporadic appearances outside the western deserts make it difficult to determine whether there has been any change in distribution or numbers. Paucity of peripheral records after 1950, however, suggests a contraction in range. All recent records, except from near Lake Tobin, have been of small parties and little breeding. It may be affected by a wide range of habitat changes including increased water availability on the periphery of its range (possibly favouring water-dependent taxa), altered fire regimes, introduction of predators such as cats and foxes, and introduction of competitors such as sheep, rabbits and camels. On a local scale, raiding of nests to collect eggs and capture fledglings for the overseas avicultural market may devastate breeding colonies.
Princess Parrot status Near Threatened


Very nomadic and difficult to track.

Distribution map

Princess Parrot distribution range map

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