What is a Superb Parrot?

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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
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  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2019
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The superb parrot is a small, bright green member of the parrot family and is native to Australia. Notoriously personable and friendly, these birds can also be raised in captivity; males are prized for their bright, beautiful plumage, and both genders are hardy birds that are easily trained. Other names for the parrot include the green leek parrot and barraband parakeet.

Adult birds are typically around 16 inches (about 40 cm) in length, and much of this length is in their long tails. The plumage of both genders is mostly green, but the male is typically brighter than the female. The male superb parrot has yellow feathers on the face and tail, a blue hue to the feathers on the back of the neck and wings, and a distinctive red band across the chest; these markings develop at maturity. The female superb parrot is not as brilliantly colored, and does not have the bright yellow and red markings of the male. Instead, the females have a gray or blue hue to the face and pink feathers on the tail.


Highly social birds, superb parrots are typically found in large groups in the wild, and should be kept at least in pairs when in captivity. In their native environment they can be found nesting together during the breeding season as well as traveling together in small groups to search for food. This food typically includes seeds, berries, and insects, although when groups of superb parrots make their homes near farmlands, they can be considered pests because they feed on crops.

When kept in captivity, a superb parrot can form strong bonds with a mate as well as with owners. Thriving in social situations and easily adapting to life in the human home, pairs of superb parrots have been known to produce offspring for decades in captivity. Breeding pairs can easily produce four or five eggs in a season. Well behaved and easy to keep, they can share their cages with not only members of their own species but with other kinds of parrots or parakeets, as long as the cage is big enough. A superb parrot that is handled frequently and kept around centers of activity can easily learn how to talk.

Numbers of wild superb parrots have suffered because of loss of nesting sites and competition for those that remain. They prefer dead, hollow trees, many of which are removed by humans to make room for livestock or expanding cities. Some groups that feed on crops and seeds can die from pesticides that are applied to these food sources.


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