A medium to large parrot, the Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius) is native to Australia. Whilst they differ in size and plumage across the different regions, they are unmistakeable being mostly green with a yellow hind collar.
In Western Australia, the ringneck competes for nesting space with the rainbow lorikeet, an introduced species. To protect the ringneck, culls of the lorikeet are sanctioned by authorities in this region. Overall, though, the ringneck is not a threatened species.
There are several different forms of the Australian Ringneck in the genus Barnardius. Once treated as two species, Barnardius zonarius and Barnardius barnardi, due to the ease of interbreeding in their overlapping range, they are now regarded as a single species B. zonarius, under which there are recognised four subspecies.
Whilst they have slightly different appearance, they all have a common feature of the yellow collar that stretches across the hindneck of the bird. In addition to the slight colour variation, the different populations of ringnecks have different sounds, with pronounced regional variation. The subspecies in Western Australia known as the ‘Twenty-eight Parrot’, has a call that is unknown in other parts of Australia.
There are four subspecies of Australian Ringnecks, in two main groups. All subspecies hybridise widely.
- Mallee Ringneck, subspecies barnardi
has a more varied green and blue body, with more yellow underneath and a red frontal band.
- Cloncurry, subspecies macgillivrayi
has more yellow and pale turquoise around the face.
- Port Lincoln group
all have dark hoods and are mainly green. The Port Lincoln Parrot, subspecies zonarius, is green and yellow underneath.
- Twenty Eight Parrot, subspecies semitorquatus
has a red frontal band and is green underneath. Quiet birds when feeding, when disturbed they fly off with loud alarm calls.
- Scientific classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Psittaciformes
- Family: Psittaculidae
- Genus: Barnardius
- Species: B. zonarius
- Binomial name: Barnardius zonarius
- B. z. zonarius
- B. z. semitorquatus
- B. z. barnardi
- B. z. macgillivrayi
- Barnardius barnardi
Footnote & References
- Australian ringneck, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_ringneck (last visited July 25, 2021).
- Australian Ringneck, Birdlife Australia, https://birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/australian-ringneck
- Australian Ringneck, Birds of Australia, https://mdahlem.net/birds/12/austring.php