Australian Parrots of a smaller kind


Cyclopsitta diophthalma Macleayana

Double eyed fig parrot is one of the smallest and rarest of Australian parrots and is found in three different subspecies and separate populations all on the east coast of Australia. They are also found in New Guinea. They are a lovely green with yellow wash on the wings and, most distinctively, red patches above and below the eyes, resulting in the common name of ‘double eyed’. Their eggs are laid in holes in dead, sometimes perilously rotten, trees and they are often see excavating a burrow in these trees. Both sexes have a red forehead, but the males also have a red cheek patch, as opposed to the females’ which is usually yellow. Seen ideally three or four times each year around the weeping native fig trees on the Atherton Tablelands, Julatten and Mungumby Lodge, which set fruit and attract these parrots. These photos were taken from the sofa at Mungumby Lodge. Unlike many larger parrots, fig parrots feed as you can see here very quietly on the kernels of many tiny seeds, including those of figs, buttonwood and ironwood. Unless you look you would not know they are there until they fly off together in a noisy manner “Zeet-Zeet”.