The Red Winged Parrot



  • Common Name:  Red Winged Parrot
  • Other Common Names:  Crimson-winged Parrot, Red-winged Lory, Blood-winged Parrot, Crimson Winged Parakeet
  • Scientific Name:  Aprosmictus erythropterus erythropterus 
  • Group:  
  • Origin or Range:  Australia
  • Relative Size:  Larger Than Average 
  • Average Lifespan:  40 years
  • Compatibility:  Relatively Aggressive 
  • Category: Parrots

Which Parrot species hangs upside down to eat? It is the Red-winged Parrot, a wildly colored, social bird who is often kept in captivity.

Red-winged Parrots in the wild live in groups of about 20, pairing up into mates or family groupings inside the flock. Sometimes, they associate with Pale-headed Rosellas and Mallee Ringneck Parrots. The only time this parrot comes to the ground, is when they are drinking or retrieving fallen seeds. They are artistic flyers and can execute a number of quick aerial tricks.

At maturity, the Red-wing grows to about 27 inches in length with wing lengths of about eight inches each. They have a five to six inch tail, which is green and usually has a yellow or light green tip in males and a pink tip in females. Their plumage is predominantly green. The males have very bright green heads and necks with bright red patches over the wings. They also have a very deep blue rump and a black mantle. Females are a bit duller in color and have light blue lower backs and rumps. The undersides of their wings are grayish with white-tipped feathers. The bills of these parrots are generally orange with yellow tips and the feet are gray. Males have orange irises while females' irises are dark.

Red-winged Parrots are native to Australia and New Guinea's tropical and temperate forests. They also like farmland, mangrove stands and savannas. Although Red-winged Parrots are protected by law and listed under CITES index II, they are occasionally shot by farmers who believe they destroy fruit crops. They are also known as Crimson-winged Parrots, Blood-winged Parrots, or Red-winged Lories and were first noted by Gmelin in 1788.

The primary diet of the Red-winged Parrot is eucalyptus seeds, acacia seeds, and hopbush seeds. They also like mistletoe berries, fruits, flowers and insects. They need lots of exercise and as big an aviary as you can provide. They do best in aviaries where they are alone in a breeding pair. They will thrive in one and a half-meter by four-meter aviaries, which are as tall as possible. Red-winged Parrots may be kept with other large parrots as long as the aviary is extremely big. A Yellow or Cinnamon color mutation is available.

Red-winged females reach sexual maturity at about a year of age, and males at three years. In the wild, Red-winged Parrots breed in the warmest months of the year. They build nests in eucalyptus trees about 35 feet off the ground and line them with wood shavings. The nests are about three feet deep. To court a female, the male chatters softly to her while circling her in flight. On the ground, he flashes his blue rump at her as he approaches. The clutch consists of about six eggs and the female incubates them. The male Red-winged Parrot does assist her in raising and feeding the young. At about five weeks, the young leave the nest but remain with their parents in a family group. In captivity, give your Red-winged Parrots a log or deep nesting box with a ladder inside. The internal diameter should be about 25 centimeters. The pair will lay three to five eggs and incubate them for about 20 days. They fledge at about 37 days and immature birds have the same coloring as females. Red-winged Parrots have been crossed with King Parrots, Princess Parrots, Superb Parrots, Regent Parrots and Sula Island King Parrots. The average lifespan of the Red Winged Parrot ranges between 30 to 50 years in captivity.


STARescue, Inc.

Copyright 2004 [Southeast Texas Avian Rescue, Inc.]. All rights reserved. Revised: 12/10/11