Red-capped Parrot

Purpureicephalus spurius

The Red-capped Parrot , also called the Pileated Parakeet , and King Parrot locally in Western Australia, is an Australian species of broad-tailed parrot related to the Rosellas.

First described by German naturalist Heinrich Kuhl in 1820, from a collection in Albany, Western Australia, the Red-capped Parrot was placed in the monotypic genus ''Purpureicephalus'' by Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1854. The generic name is an amalgam of the Latin ''purpureus'' "purple", and the Ancient Greek ''kephalé'' "head". The specific epithet ''spurius'' is the Latin adjective meaning "illegitimate", and refers to the very different adult and immature plumages . Besides Red-capped Parrot, vernacular names include Pileated Parrot, Western King Parrot, Purple-crowned Parrot, Grey Parrot or Hookbill.
The Pileated Parakeet I have seen quite a lot of birds, but this one has to be one of the most striking.
 Geotagged,Purpureicephalus spurius,Red-capped Parrot,South Africa,birds,parrots


Measuring 34–38 cm in length and weighing 105–125 g, the adult Red-capped Parrot is a distinctive and easily recognised medium-sized parrot. The adult male has a crimson crown, grey-brown lores, and green-yellow cheeks and a narrow long upper mandible. The upperparts are dark green, the rump yellow-green, the tail green with dark blue tip. The underparts are purplish-blue and the flanks green and red. The female is similar but duller overall, and the juvenile has a dark green crown, reddish frontal band, and red-brown underparts.
Pileated Parakeet  Geotagged,Purpureicephalus spurius,Red-capped Parrot,South Africa


Marri seeds are the preferred diet, but birds also extract seeds from Karri , woody pear , ''Grevillea'', ''Hakea'', and She-oak , as well as insects such as psyllids, and even orchard fruit such as apples and pears.

The breeding season is August to December, the nest is a tree hollow, and a clutch of five white eggs is laid.


The species occurs from the Moore River southwards in southwestern Australia. Its natural habitat is Marri , but has adpated to farmland, orchards and suburban landscapes in Perth.


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Status: Least concern
Genus Purpureicephalus
SpeciesP. spurius
Photographed in
South Africa