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Australian Ringneck - BirdForum Opus

Port Lincoln Ringneck
Photo © by Neil
Alice Springs, Australia, April 2004
Barnardius zonarius

Includes: Port Lincoln Ringneck (Western Ringneck), The Twenty Eight, Mallee Ringneck (Eastern Ringneck), Cloncurry Parrot


32–44 cm (12½-17¼ in); variable species, but all subspecies share blue-green wings and tail and a yellow band across the rear nape


Mallee Ringneck: mostly green body, blue mantle and rear head, red band above the base of the bill, irregular band of orange-yellow across the belly.
The "Cloncurry Parrot" has paler back, yellower underside and lacks red on forehead.
Port Lincoln Ringneck: yellow belly, head blackish, no red above bill.
The Twenty Eight: belly mostly green, darker than the above, red band above base of bill.

Similar Species

There are lots of other long tailed parrots in Australia, but the yellow band at the neck should be specific.



Port Lincoln Ringneck

Western half of Australia. The subspecies semitorquatus is considered threatened by the introduced Rainbow Lorikeets that aggressively compete for nesting places. Otherwise, this species is considered under "Least Concern".

Mallee Ringneck

Eastern half of Australia, mainly south of the Tropic of Capricorn and absent from the most humid coastal areas.


B. z. zonarius
B. z. occidentalis
B. z. semitorquatus
B. z. barnardi and B. z. whitei
B. z. macgillivrayi
Maps/Texts consulted4

Mallee Ringneck
Photo © by Recurvirostra
Mungo National Park, south-western New South Wales, Australia, April 2006


The taxonomy of this species is still under much debate. It is also split into two species by some authorities:

  • Port Lincoln Ringneck:
    • Subspecies zonarius (the Port Lincoln Parrot or Port Lincoln Ringneck)) is common from Port Lincoln in the south east to Alice Springs in the north east, and from the Karri and Tingle forests of South Western Australia up to the Pilbara district.
    • Subspecies occidentalis has in the past been included under zonarius; it is found in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
    • Subspecies semitorquatus (The Twenty Eight ), is found in the western forests of Western Australia.
  • Mallee Ringneck:
    • Of subspecies included here, the Mallee Ringneck (B. z. barnardi) inhabits New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria.
    • Additionally, B. z. whitei is found in the south-western end of the range described here.
    • The Cloncurry Parrot (B. z. macgillivrayi) is found from the Lake Eyre basin in the Northern Territory to the North gulf of Queensland.
Twenty Eight, semitorquatus
Photo © by ChrisCharles
Perth, Western Australia, March 2007


Eucalypt woodlands and eucalypt-lined watercourses but also drier habitats. Mallee Ringneck in mallee scrub, open woodlands and in trees along watercourses.


Locally nomadic.


The nest is made in a hollow by male and female who line the bottom with decaying wood dust and making a shallow depression for the eggs. 4-6 white eggs are laid and incubated by the female for 20-21 days. The young leave after about 30 days.


Eastern Ringneck race
Photo © by Hans&Judy Beste
SW Queensland, September 2017

The diet includes nectar, insects, seeds, fruit and bulbs. Farmers regard this as a pest species.


The Twenty Eight has a call which sounds like his name.


  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Pizzey, G. & Knight, F. 1997. Birds of Australia (Collins Field Guide). HarperCollins Publishers, London. ISBN 0-00-220132-1
  4. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334221

Recommended Citation

External Links

Search for scientific name Barnardius zonarius:

Search for scientific name Barnardius barnardi:

Search for common name - Australian Ringneck:

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