The Bluebonnet (Northiella haematogaster) is a medium-sized parrot that is adapted to the dry semi-arid regions, commonly found in the south-eastern and central-southern interior of Australia. They have also been found in in the medium rainfall regions of the eastern and southern extremities its range.
They are identified by the yellow and red belly and the blue face. Their are multiple subspecies that vary in the colour of their wing patch, belly and undertail. In flight, the blue wings and red shoulders are a contrast with the pale brown back. Whilst they are similar to the smaller Naretha Bluebonnet (Northiella narethae), they differ in that the Naretha Bluebonnet do not have red on belly.
The Bluebonnet parrots are often seen as a pair and are very rarely in flocks. They are occasionally seen in small groups going to and from a water source. The male of the species have just slightly more blue on the face then the female, whilst the juveniles are duller in colour to the adults. The female incubates the eggs.
They have a varied diet, feeding mainly on the ground, with saltbush and acacia seed a large part of their diet.
Also known as the Eastern Bluebonnet or the Greater Bluebonnet it is one of two species of Australian parrots in the genus Northiella. It was reclassified in 1994 by ornithologists and taxonomists Christidis and Boles, due to distinctive physical and behavioural differences from the genus Psephotus.
- Scientific classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Psittaciformes
- Family: Psittaculidae
- Genus: Northiella
- Species: N. haematogaster
- Binomial name: Northiella haematogaster