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Yellow-crowned Parakeet - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Amurfalcon
Lake Matheson, West Coast, New Zealand, 14 August 2009

Alternative name: Yellow-fronted Parakeet

Cyanoramphus auriceps


Length: 23cm (9")
Green with red frontal band across forehead reaching to eye, golden crown, red patch on each side of rump, purple/blue outer webs of flight feathers, bill blue-grey with black tip, orange/red eye.

Similar Species

The critically endangered Orange-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi) is similar, but the Yellow-crowned Parakeet is brighter green with a red, not orange forehead.


New Zealand area: North Island, South Island, Stewart Island (possibly extinct on the main island), and Auckland Islands (possibly eradicated through hybridization) and several small offshore islands.


This is a monotypic species[1]. Sometimes lumped with Chatham Parakeet (C. forbesi) and Malherbe's Parakeet (C. malherbi) as a race and a variant, respectively. Has hybridized extensively with Red-fronted Parakeet (C. novaezelandiae) in Auckland Islands.


Dense unbroken forest and scrub. Prefers tall forests.



The diet includes invertebrates, leaves, flowers and seeds.


They nest in hollow limbs or holes in tree trunks; 5-9 eggs are laid and are incubated for 20 days. Main nesting season October to December, but nesting recorded in all months except May and June.


Common call a long rattling chatter: “keekeekeekeekee...


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Collar, N. (2017). Yellow-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus auriceps). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/54503 on 7 February 2017).
  3. Elliott, G.P. 2013. Yellow-crowned parakeet. In Miskelly, C.M. (ed.) New Zealand Birds Online. http://www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz
  4. Gill, B.J., Bell, B.D., Chambers, G.K., Medway, D.G., Palma, R.L., Scofield, R.P., Tennyson, A.J.D. & Worthy, T.H. (2010) Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand, Norfolk and Macquarie Islands, and the Ross Dependency, Antarctica. 4th edition. Ornithological Society of New Zealand & Te Papa Press, Wellington, New Zealand.

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