30 Parrots I May Not Be Able To Add To My Lifelist & Why

Many birders keep a Lifelist of all the birds they have seen in their lifetime and set challenges to see certain birds or reach a specified numerical target.  I was never a Lifelist keeper until I joined eBird and I was primarily targeting parrot species so I didn’t keep track of other birds I had seen until fairly recently.  There are around 10,000 species of birds in the world and I have logged 1322 on eBird.  Of those 1322, 177 are parrots.  There are around 390 species and subspecies of parrots depending on whose classifications you are looking at so I am closing in on half the parrot species of the world though I haven’t really reconciled my Lifelist which goes back to 2007 with the latest taxonomy.

Anyway, there are at least 30 species which I may not be able to see due to several reasons such as being endemic in a dangerous country or remote island or simply being too expensive for me to get to as my miles balance runs down.  Here’s the list.

  1.  Stephen’s Lorikeet – remote on Pitcairn Island
  2.   Sula Hanging Parrot – difficult to reach
  3.   Meek’s Pygmt Parrot – difficult to reach
  4.   Blue-wnged Racket-tail – difficult to reach
  5.   Nicobar Parakeet – difficult to reach
  6.  Antipodean Green Parrot – difficult to reach, remote NZ island
  7.  Night Parrot – tiny population in QLD in restricted access area (not allowed to go there)
  8.  Niam-Niam Parrot – dangerous location in Congo
  9.  Socorro Parakeet – remote island off Mexico
  10.  Thick-billed Parrot – lives in area frequented by drug cartels in Mexico
  11.  Red-eared Parakeet – endemic to Venezuela which is too dangerous to travel in
  12.  Emma’s Parakeet – another Venezuela endemic
  13.  Rose-crowned Parakeet – another Venezuela endemic
  14. Pacific Parakeet – found in Nicaragua, not sure I can get there due miles running out
  15. Red-throated Parakeet – another Nicaraguan
  16. Azuero Parakeet – remote area of Panama
  17. Cuban Parakeet – theoretically possible in Cuba but lack of miles
  18. Hispaniolan Parakeet – theoretically possible in Haiti or Dominican Republic but lack of miles
  19.  Hispaniolan Amazon – theoretically possible in Haiti or Dominican Republic but lack of miles
  20.  Deville’s Parakeet – found in Tefe, Brazil, expensive to reach
  21. Vulturine Parrot – possible in Brazil but found in remote areas
  22. Bald Parrot – found near Rio Azul, Brazil, expensive to reach
  23. Red-fronted Parrot – dipped in Ecuador, no plans to return
  24. Spectacled Parrotlet – dipped in Ecuador & Colombia, no plans to return
  25. Spot-winged Parrotlet – dipped in Ecuador & Colombia, no plans to return
  26. Blue-fronted Parrotlet – dipped in Ecuador & Colombia, no plans to return
  27. Red-fronted Parrotlet – dipped in Panama, no plans to return
  28. Saffron-headed Parrot – dipped in Colombia, also found in Venezuela but can’t get there
  29. Sinu Parakeet – remote Colombian endemic, possibly extinct as no sightings in years
  30. Perija Parakeet – remote Colombian endemic, possibly extinct as no sightings in years

So I have had a chance at some of these parrots, mostly the parrotlets but was unable to find them.  Some of them would be possible if the country was safer to visit, some would be possible if I had more money and/or airline miles!

I do have a lot of other possible parrots in trips I have planned over the next few years as I burn the remainder of my miles and do some cheaper trips from Australia to Asian countries.  I would like to get at least 300 parrot species and over 2000 bird species so that’s 20% of the total in the world!

Northern Rosella (Platycercus venustus)

The Northern Rosella (Platycercus venustus), also known as Brown’s Parakeet or Smutty Rosella (Huh?), is found in Australia’s Top End. It is found in open savannah country throughout the Gulf of Carpentaria and Arnhem Land to the Kimberley.

It was first described by German naturalist Heinrich Kuhl.  The specific epithet is derived from the Latin venustus “charming, lovely or graceful”.  (That’s more like it!)

This lovely, graceful bird was seen near the Katherine Hot Springs innocently having dinner and not acting smutty in the least!

They have a large range from the Kimberley in WA across the Northern Territory’s Top End to far north-west Queensland.  I saw one quite well in Katherine and some others streaking past at Copperfield Dam near Pine Creek.  They are also seen regularly in some parts of Kakadu.



World Parrot Trust


Birds in Backyards


Surprisingly, there isn’t much on wild birds but I did find this short clip of a pair foraging in the grass.


Varied Lorikeet (Psitteuteles versicolor)

The Varied Lorikeet (Psitteuteles versicolor) is a cute and colourful species of parrot in the family Psittacidae. It is endemic to northern Australia.  Unbelieveably, I stumbled across a small flock at Donkey Camp Weir near Katherine!

The Varied Lorikeet lives in tropical eucalypt forests, wetland and grassland areas in northern Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia.  They are highly nomadic so it’s a matter of luck, but you can see where I got lucky at Donkey Camp Weir.



World Parrot Trust



Stunning close-up to show off their beauty.

Look for them in flowering gum trees like this one.


Red-collared Lorikeet (Trichoglossus rubritorquis)

The Red-collared Lorikeet (Trichoglossus rubritorquis) was previously considered a subspecies of the rainbow lorikeet, but today most major authorities consider them as separate species.  They have become world famous for their drunken antics which sounds like it could be funny but really isn’t as it exposes them to predators.

They are easily found within their range, especailly in Australia’s Northern Territory and are very noisy so you can’t miss them!  I saw them around the Darwin area, Pine Creek, Edith Falls, Katherine, Outback Northern Territory, Nitmikuk and Kakadu.



World Parrot Trust


About Drunk Lorikeets


Lets start with some sober parrots foraging as usual.


And here’s a story about the drunk lorikeets.

Hooded Parrot (Psephotus dissimilis)

The Hooded Parrot (Psephotus dissimilis) is  found in savannah and open woodland and is one of two extant species in its genus that breed in termite mounds.  In the photos below which I took at Pine Creek you can see the difference between the males and females.  The males have the brilliant turquoise bodies while the females are more subdued light green.

This speckly little cutie is a young male just coming into his adult colouring.

This looks like a juvenile female from the big eyes and subdued colouring.

Hooded Parrots are endemic to Australia’s Northern Territory and most easily seen around Pine Creek and Edith Falls.



World Parrot Trust


Australian Wildlife Conservancy


A quick drink

Foraging in the grass.

Birding tour group finds some Hoodies in a termite mound and in trees.


Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii)

The Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii) also known as Banksian- or Banks’ Black Cockatoo, is a large black cockatoo native to Australia.

Five subspecies are recognised.

C. b. banksii is found in Queensland and, rarely, in far northern New South Wales
C. b. graptogyne, (Endangered) known as the south-eastern red-tailed black cockatoo, is found in southwestern Victoria and southeastern South Australia in an area bordered by Mount Gambier to the west, Portland to the south, Horsham to the northeast and Bordertown to the north
C. b. macrorhynchus, given the name great-billed cockatoo by Mathews; is found across northern Australia.

C. b. naso (Near Threatened) is known as the forest red-tailed black cockatoo and is found in the southwest corner of Western Australia between Perth and Albany.

C. b. samueli exists in four scattered populations: in central coastal Western Australia from the Pilbara south to the northern Wheatbelt in the vicinity of Northam, and inland river courses in Central Australia, southwestern Queensland and the upper Darling River system in Western New South Wales. Birds of this subspecies are generally smaller with smaller bills than the nominate banksii.

Good places to spot this gregarious and cheeky cockatoo are:  Along the coast of Western Australia, the Northern Territory south of Darwin, most parks in South-east Queensland.




World Parrot Trust


Recovery Project


Beautiful close-ups of cockatoos foraging and pair bonding.


Filmed at Paradise Park, this slo-mo clip shows the bird in flight.

Flock roosting near Cairns



Puerto Rican Amazon (Amazona vittata)

The Puerto Rican Amazon (Amazona vittata), also known as the Puerto Rican Parrot or Iguaca, is the only bird endemic to the archipelago of Puerto Rico belonging to the Neotropical genus Amazona.

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Although they once could be found throughout Puerto Rico, they are now confined to two main areas – Rio Abajo Forest and El Yunque (green highlights).  I saw these parrots just outside the gate of Rio Abajo Aviary (I was there because I had an appointment).  With less than 100 in the wild (not including breeding population), I was especially honoured to see them!




World Parrot Trust


Parrots International

Parrots Daily News


These are very informative about the breeding projects to save this critically endangered bird and repopulate the species.


Imperial Amazon Parrot (Amazona imperialis)

The Imperial Amazon Parrot (Amazona imperialis), is locally known as the Sisserou,and found only on the Caribbean island of Dominica.  I only caught a glimpse of one and was unable to get a photo so here’s what Wikipedia has – a captive bird and a drawing.

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The Sisserou is proudly featured on the flag of Dominica.


They have a very small range in the Morne Diablotins (Syndicate) and the Morne Trois Pitons National Parks.  I got my best view through Dr Birdy’s scope at Syndicate.




World Parrot Trust



We will have to be content with captive birds as no one seems to have filmed them in the wild and posted on Youtube.


Red-necked Amazon Parrot (Amazona arausiaca)

The Red-necked Amazon (Amazona arausiaca), also known as the Red-necked Parrot, Dominican Blue-faced Amazon, lesser Dominican Amazon, and Jaco Parrot, is an amazon parrot endemic to Dominica.  I was really lucky to get these shots at the Syndicate.

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They are easiest to see in the Morne Diablotins (Syndicate) and the island overall.  They are much easier to find than the Imperial Amazon.




World Parrot Trust



This is how they look from the parrot lookout.

And sometimes they come a bit closer as these lucky people found.  You can see how well they camoflage against the leaves – which is good as it protects them from predators.

Saint Vincent Amazon Parrot (Amazona guildingii)

The Saint Vincent Amazon (Amazona guildingii) also known as Saint Vincent Parrot, is a large, approximately 40 cm long, multi-colored amazon parrot with a yellowish white, blue and green head, greenish-bronze upperparts plumage, and violet blue-green wings.

This bird is from the St Vincent Botanical Gardens breeding centre.

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And if you are at the Parrot Lookout, this is what they look like!  Snap fast!img_8030

The Saint Vincent Amazon is endemic to the heavily forested mountains of the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent.  Most birders find them (with patience) at the Vermont Trail Parrot Lookout.




Word Parrot Trust


Neotropical Birds


No one seems to have filmed them in the wild but there are a couple clips from the breeding centre.