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What is a Regent Parrot?

By Lisa O'Meara
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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The Regent Parrot is a member of the Psittacidae family found almost exclusively in Australia. Also known by a variety of names, including Rock Pebbler, Regent Parakeet and Murray Smoker, the Regent Parrot grows to approximately 14.5 - 16.5 inches (37-42 cm) in length. These slim birds are social, living in groups of up to 20 birds in the wild and subsisting on a variety of seeds, flowers and larvae. The Regent Parrot can also make a good pet.

Polytelis anthopeplus anthopeplus, one subspecies of this bird, lives in abundant numbers in the southwestern part of the continent, preferring areas dense with eucalyputus or other trees. Southeastern Australia is home to Polytelis anthopeplus monarchoides, another subspecies, which is on the endangered list. Only approximately 400 pairs survive in areas with stable weather that are thick with bush and brush. Devastated by drought, humans and competition, the southeastern subspecies is now protected and attempts are being made to increase their numbers.

The male Regent Parrot boasts several shades of yellow on his head, feathers and wings. These colorful birds have green accents on their backs, red bands on their wings and green tails. Both the males and females have red beaks but the female Regent Parrot is distinguished by an overall greener plumage and black feathers on the underside of her back and tail. Most Regent Parrots develop these colors in full when they are just over a year old.

Regent Parrots become sexually mature at around two years of age and can breed up to twice a year. Preferring to nest near water, females lay between three and eight eggs in large, lush, mature trees although they will make do in the hollows of dead trees if necessary. The female sits on her eggs for about three weeks during which time the male brings her food. After the eggs hatch, both the male and the female care for the young. The parents multiply their normal food intake exponentially in order to regurgitate it back to their babies. At about five weeks old, the young Regent Parrot will learn to fly and will generally be able to live on their own after 50 days.

If given a roomy indoor cage or an aviary and a variety of materials for chewing, the Regent Parrot can thrive happily in captivity. Sociable and intelligent, these parrots can be taught to mimic the human voice and most are good whistlers. They are typically active in the early morning and evening and need ample time in which to fly freely. While Regent Parrots can be bred in captivity, ornithologists stress the importance of breeding only within the species.

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Discussion Comments
By Pippinwhite — On Apr 21, 2014

@Lostnfound: Plus, they're expensive! I did some research into getting a parrot a few years ago and good birds from reputable breeders ran into the hundreds of dollars, along with good-quality cages, toys and food. Keeping a parrot of any kind is not cheap!

I don't know how some people can afford to spend what they do on their birds and still make it financially.

By Lostnfound — On Apr 20, 2014

You have to be so careful with pet parrots. I have a friend who used to keep parrots and she said they need a lot of care, and it's a lot of work to keep them fed properly. She always fed fresh vegetables and made something she called "birdy bread" as a treat. The birds ate better than the humans!

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