Regent Parrot (eastern subspecies) - 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: Polytelis anthopeplus monarchoides
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Vulnerable
Profile last updated: 01 Dec 2017


The Regent Parrot is a slim medium-sized parrot (37 to 42 cm) with a long narrow tail and pointed backswept wings. It is mostly yellow with contrasting blue-black wings and tail, a prominent yellow shoulder patch and red patches in the wings and under the tail. The females plumage is duller and greener than the male. It is often first detected in flight by its distinctive call, described as a harsh rolling 'carrack-carrack'.


The eastern subspecies is restricted to areas around the Murray River in South Australia, Victoria and NSW. In NSW it occurs along the Murray River downstream of Tooleybuc (though there are few records between Mildura and the South Australian border), the Wakool River downstream of Kyalite, and the Murrumbidgee River immediately upstream from the junction with the Murray River and adjoining areas of mallee. There are scattered records along the Darling River as far north as Menindee, but at this stage the species has not been confirmed to breed along this river. The nominate subspecies occurs in south western Western Australia.

Habitat and ecology

  • The species nests within River Red Gum forests along the Murray, Wakool and lower Murrumbidgee Rivers, and possibly the Darling River downstream of Pooncarie. Typical nest trees are large, mature healthy trees with many spouts (though dead trees are used) and are usually located close to a watercourse.
  • Principal foraging habitat is mallee woodlands, though foraging also occurs in riverine forests and woodlands. Mallee woodland within 20 kilometres of nesting sites is critical foraging habitat for breeding birds.
  • They may utilise cereal crops and will feed on spilt grain. Is claimed to be a pest in almond orchards.
  • Birds move between the riverine nesting habitat and foraging sites along corridors of natural vegetation.
  • Outside the breeding season birds may move away from the riverine plain, with birds observed in mallee over 60 kilometres from the river. However, there are very few records in NSW away from the Murray River during the non-breeding season and it has been speculated that most birds may join non-breeding flocks in Victoria.
  • Breeding is colonial with up to 27 nests within the colony. Nests are usually within 150 metres of each other and up to five nests have been recorded in a single tree.
  • Usually occurs in pairs or small parties, though may form larger flocks during the non-breeding season. Despite its size it can be quite cryptic and frequently sits quietly within trees and can only be detected by occasional calls.

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
Darling Riverine PlainsGreat Darling Anabranch Predicted None
Darling Riverine PlainsMenindee Predicted None
Darling Riverine PlainsPooncarie-Darling Known None
Murray Darling DepressionSouth Olary Plain Known Within 20 kilometres of Murray and Murrumbidge Rivers, within 30 Km of the Murray River, within 30 km of the River Murray
Other StateSA Known None
Other StateVIC Known None
RiverinaLachlan Known Within 20km of Murrumbidgee River
RiverinaMurray Fans Known Along Wakool River west of Kyalite
RiverinaMurray Scroll Belt Known None
RiverinaMurrumbidgee Known Within 10 kilometres of junction of Murray River
RiverinaRobinvale Plains Known None