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Beautiful Aussie Ready to Reproduce

This article was first published on 27 Sep 2017.

The mulga parrot ( Psephotellus varius)

The mulga parrot ( Psephotellus varius)

Photo by the Otago Daily Times

The mulga parrot ( Psephotellus varius) has the same name as a well-known tree and is also found in the arid interior of South Australia.

This beauty is a striking little bird. At Dunedin Botanic Garden there is a single pair in the aviary. The male of this species is the more stunning, as is often the case in the bird world. These guys are about the size of our own native kakariki and have multi coloured iridescent feathers that change in the light and make them truly beautiful to watch.

In the Aboriginal dreaming mythology of the Aranda people the mulga is thought of as the auntie of the kangaroo - the mulga help to guide kangaroos to water and act as an alarm when hunters are about.

With spring in the air the mulgas are getting ready to nest. They can raise two clutches of four to six chicks per season in the wild, dependent on food supply. At the aviary mulgas produced one clutch last season.

Mainly seed eaters, they will indulge in flowers and fruit when in season and during breeding will take any opportunity for a grub or two.

The next time you visit the Botanic Garden take the time to observe these luminous, quiet little parrots as you may see the female being fed by her partner or just popping her head out of the nest for a nosey.

Garden Life is produced by Dunedin Botanic Garden. For further information contact Alisha Sherriff.