Bourke's Grass Parakeet, Pink-bellied Parakeet, Blue-vented Parakeet, Sundown Parrot, Night Parrot.
Small parrot displaying little sexual dimorphism. Olive-brown above, mantle feathers lightly edged in pale brown and wings brown. Coverts edged with
cream and shoulders blue. Throat and breast pink with mottled brown. Chest and abdomen pure pink. Undertail blue, forehead and line above eyes
blue and bill brown/black. Females resemble males but the line above the eye is reduced and has no blue on forehead. Immatures resembe adults, but have
less pink on the belly.
Bourke's Parrot roosts communally and is sometimes encountered in large flocks.
However it is usually found in small parties. Congregates at waterholes to drink around dawn or dusk. This species is quiet and unobtrusive in its behaviour.
Throughout the interior of Australia from Ashburton River and Morawa (WA) east to south-western Qld and Western NSW.
Mulga woodland, mallee and arid scrublands.
Mainly seeds, especially those of grasses and species of Acacia and Cassia
Mostly occurs from August to November and is often in response to local rainfall.
Usual nesting site is a tree cavity at one to three meters in height and usually in a Casuarina or Acacia tree. The hen incubates the eggs
but is attended by the male who remains near the nesting site to defend it.
In captivity Bourke's will readily accept wooden nesting boxes. The ideal size is around 15cmx 10cm x10cm. Boxes should be suspended at around shoulder height.
Preferred nesting material is wood dust.
Like other Neophema parrots, the male approaches the female with the body fully
erect, tail fanned and wings held slightly open. With this, he bobs his head and utters a soft chatter. This is usually followed by courtship feeding.
These birds become sexually mature at nine -12 months.
Three to six white rounded eggs (20mm x 17mm). Incubation period: 18 days. The young usually fledge at around 28 days.
Mutations and Hybrids
Unlike other Neophema parrots, Bourke's do not normally produce hybrids within the genus. There is a record of it having been
crossed with a scarlet-chested parrot.
Mutations (aviary bred) include: Pink, Rosa, Cream, Blue, Pied and Cinnamon (Fawn).