Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis)

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Australian King Parrot
Alisterus scapularis
Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis)
Name Australian King Parrot
Name Lat. Alisterus scapularis
Family Parrots
Family lat. Psittacidae
Order Parrots
Order lat. Psittaciformes
Origin Australia
Climate Subtropical - tropical
Diet Large Parakeet seed, veggies, fruits
Keeping Pair, group
Care Level Moderate
Reproduction Cavity nest
Life Span 20-25 years
Protection CITES Appendix II; EC Annex B
Metric Units
Size 42 cm
Temperature Room temperature
Housing 300 x 100 x 200 cm
US Units
Size 17"
Temperature Room temperature
Housing 120" x 40" x 80"

Distribution and habitat

King parakeets are the largest Australian parakeets and are native to the east coast of Australia, where they live in moist and dense forests as well as eucalyptus scrub forests from the lowlands up to 2,600 m altitude. Since the export ban in 1960 they are only available as offspring.

Cage size

The minimum size of the aviary is 300 x 100 x 200 cm (L x W x H) for a pair. This size may not be undercut even in the case of justified single keeping. For an additional 2 birds, the floor space must be increased by 50%, provided that the birds are compatible with the species. The aviary must be placed in a bright, draft-free and quiet place and should have cross-wiring or netting. An aviary with 5 m² of floor space is recommended.


The floor must be covered with sand, shavings of untreated wood or similar material and cleaned once a week if possible. At least 2 perches made of wood or branches of different thickness and height must be installed in such a way as to provide the longest possible flight path and also to prevent soiling of the feed and water containers. They need a bathing opportunity and should also be sprayed with water occasionally (e.g. sprinkler system). Rings, ropes and natural branches that are not harmful to health should be offered for occupation. They should be kept at room temperature.


The species-specific food offer consists of mixed seeds, available in specialized trade as "large parakeet food" in premium quality, supplemented with foxtail millet, green food (dandelion, chickweed, green panicle millet), vegetables (peppers, carrots etc.), fruit (apples, pears etc.), rose hips, berries (firethorn, ash), wild herb seeds, fresh twigs, buds, occasionally insect food.), fruit (apples, pears, etc.), rose hips, berries (firethorn, rowan), wild herb seeds, fresh twigs, buds, occasionally insect food and, especially for raising young, germinated seed (wheat or corn), mealybug larvae and egg feed. If there are several animals, set up several feeding stations. They need grit, cuttlefish and vitamin lime as digestive aids. Water must always be available in birdbaths or in stable, open containers. Feed and water must be offered fresh daily, and the containers must be cleaned beforehand.

A varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

The sexes are easily distinguished, females are predominantly green and have no red on the head, neck and chest.

They breed in nest boxes made of softwood or in hollowed tree trunks. Bark mulch or sawdust from conifers is suitable as nest box bedding. The clutch consists of 4-6 eggs, the brood duration is about 20 days. There is only one annual brood (March to August). During the breeding season they may be kept only in pairs (not in a group). Young birds should be raised so that they are species-specific.

Species protection

They should be provided with a leg ring. They are exempt from the obligation to notify (Federal Species Protection Ordinance Annex 5 to § 7 para. 2). Your pet store will be happy to provide you with further information.

Protection of species: WA appendix II; EU appendix B. The purchase receipt is the required proof of origin for the animal. Please keep it safe!


In the case of outdoor aviaries, they also need a heated shelter of at least 2 m², which can be visited by the birds at any time. The temperature in the shelter must not fall below 5 °C and the furnishings must correspond to those of cage housing

They may be kept only in pairs or in a group. Sufficient daylight or flicker-free artificial light (stroboscopic effect) corresponding to daylight must be provided in rooms, including shelters. The lighting duration shall be 8-12 hours per day and the natural day-night rhythm shall be observed. Adequate indoor climate shall be provided. The health condition of the birds shall be checked daily.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Othmar Sieberer; Image: petdata

Source: BMELV (1995): Tierschutzgutachten - Mindestanforderungen an die Haltung von Papageien; ARNDT (1997): Lexikon der Papageien, Arndt Verlag; GRUMMT & STREHLOW (2009): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Vögel, Verlag Harri Deutsch 

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF