Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Coxen's Fig-parrot
Cyclopsitta coxeni

This southern race of the Double-eyed Fig-parrot is regarded as one of the rarest birds in Australia. This is because most of the lowland rainforest haunts in SE Queensland and NE NSW where they once occurred have been cleared. Most recent efforts to locate them have proved fruitless. There have been a few unsubstantiated records but these have nearly always been second-hand heresay, or made by people who were unaware of the importance of the record. Because they feed mostly high in the rainforest canopy where they would be very difficult to observe and their brief, high-pitched calls (listen under Double-eyed Fig-parrot) are very easy to miss, their detection becomes doubly difficult. An indication of how difficult is this. I took the original photograph on which this Photoshop reconstruction is based in a street tree in Kuranda near Cairns. The fruiting fig was only 8 metres or so high and I was able to see maybe 15 to 20 birds at any one time. When they all eventually flew, a flock or 100 birds left the tree - I had no idea so many birds were there, so imagine how hard it would be to locate a pair, or even half a dozen birds feeding high in a rainforest canopy over 100 feet (sorry, 30 metres) up!

The most recent sightings have been in the mountains south of Canungra, around the southern periphery of the Maleny plateau and up at Moore Park, just north of Bundaberg, and in high country on the NSW/Qld border.

Photo: 261501-D

261501-D ... Coxen's Fig-parrot. This is a male C.d. macleayana retouched by me using Photoshop.

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