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Bruny Island Quarantine Station - now open five days a week

13/10/2014

The Wildcare Inc Friends of the Bruny Island Quarantine Station and the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) are pleased to announce the Quarantine Station will be open five days a week from 10am to 4pm over the summer months.More

Strategic fuel reduction burn for Ansons Bay

08/10/2014

The Parks and Wildlife Service is continuing its fuel reduction burning program with a planned burn of about 425 ha in the Ansons Bay area of Mt William National Park.More

New Cockle Creek bridge completed for tourist season

07/10/2014

A new bridge at Cockle Creek in the far south of Tasmania has been completed, just in time for the start of the busy spring/summer tourist season.More

Ground Parrot, Pezoporus wallicus

Ground parrotGround Parrot
Photo copyright Dave Watts

Description

The beautifully patterned Ground Parrot is a medium-size bird (290-320mm), bright green with black and yellow markings and a pale yellow wing bar. It has a small orange-red band on the lower forehead. 

Habitat

The Ground Parrot is a secretive bird found in the west of Tasmania, where it prefers buttongrass and open heathlands. The species is not usually seen unless it is flushed out from cover.

Where's Wallicus? The beautiful patterning of the Ground Parrot offers excellent camouflage among its heathland habitat. The bird is in the centre of the photo - click to see enlarged version.
(Photo by Peter Grant)
Although it also occurs on mainland Australia, it is now only found there in fragmented populations where pockets of habitat remain undisturbed.

The Ground Parrot is one of only three ground-dwelling parrots in the world, the others being the extremely rare Night Parrot and New Zealand's highly endangered Kakapo. When disturbed, it flies swiftly just above the ground before dropping back into the vegetation again.

Diet

Ground Parrots usually feed on the ground, eating seeds of sedges, grasses, herbaceous plants and shrubs.

Breeding

The Ground Parrot constructs a shallow nest of fine sticks and grass which is well-hidden under low shrubs. The female incubates the eggs and broods the young. During this time of incubation and brooding, the female is fed by the male, who also feeds the young when they hatch.

Call

Distribution Map courtesy Natural Values Atlas, data from theLIST
© 2010 State of Tasmania

The presence of the bird is often only revealed by its characteristic dusk and dawn call, a clear, whistling sequence of notes that rise in pitch before fading. It is silent in flight.

Distribution

Found in suitable habitat throughout western Tasmania and Hunter Island off the northwest coast.