Orange-bellied Parrot - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Neophema chrysogaster
Conservation status in NSW: Critically Endangered
Commonwealth status: Critically Endangered
Gazetted date: 15 Dec 2000
Profile last updated: 01 Dec 2017


The Orange-bellied Parrot is a small, stocky, ground-dwelling parrot, primarily a deep, grassy green. It is noticeably smaller than the superficially similar and much more familiar Red-rumped Parrot Psephotus haematonotus. It has a blue forehead-band (that does not extend behind the eye), a green (not yellow) face, and blue wing-edges. The orange patch on the yellow belly is not a very reliable field mark. It sometimes feeds with the very similar Blue-winged Parrot Neophema chrysotoma. Its buzzy alarm call is also unique.


The Orange-bellied Parrot breeds in the south-west of Tasmania and migrates in autumn to spend the winter on the mainland coast of south-eastern South Australia and southern Victoria. There are occasional reports from NSW, with the most recent records from Shellharbour and Maroubra in May 2003. It is expected that NSW habitats may be being more frequently utilised than observations suggest. Typical winter habitat is saltmarsh and strandline/foredune vegetation communities either on coastlines or coastal lagoons. Spits and islands are favoured but they will turn up anywhere within these coastal regions. The species can be found foraging in weedy areas associated with these coastal habitats or even in totally modified landscapes such as pastures, seed crops and golf courses.

Habitat and ecology

  • On the mainland, the Orange-bellied Parrot spends winter mostly within 3 km of the coast in sheltered coastal habitats including bays, lagoons, estuaries, coastal dunes and saltmarshes. The species also inhabits small islands and peninsulas and occasionally saltworks and golf courses. Birds forage in low samphire herbland or taller coastal shrubland.
  • Diet mainly comprises seeds and fruits of sedges and salt-tolerant coastal and saltmarsh plants. Occasionally, flowers and stems are eaten.
  • Orange-bellied Parrots are known to forage among flocks of Blue-winged Parrots.
  • Recent records from unexpected places, including Shellharbour and Maroubra suggest that the species may be expanding their selection of habitats and foraging plant species. Birds seen in NSW in 2003 were foraging on weed species several hundred metres from the coast.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
OceanHawkesbury Shelf Known None
Ocean - Other StateSouthern Australian Coastal Waters Known None
Other StateJervis Bay Territory Predicted within 5 km of high water mark
Other StateSA Known None
Other StateVIC Known None
South East CornerBateman Predicted within 5 km of high water mark
South East CornerEast Gippsland Lowlands Predicted within 5 km of high water mark
South East CornerSouth East Coastal Ranges Predicted within 5 km of high water mark
Sydney BasinIllawarra Known within 5 km of high water mark
Sydney BasinJervis Predicted within 5 km of high water mark
Sydney BasinPittwater Predicted None