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Species Guide
A photo of a Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius)
Australian Ringneck

Australian Ringneck

Barnardius zonarius

The Australian ringneck (Barnardius zonarius), a parrot of medium stature measuring approximately 33 cm in length, is adorned with a predominantly green plumage. Each of the four recognized subspecies boasts a distinctive yellow ring encircling the hindneck, complemented by a blend of green and blue across the wings and tail.

Identification Tips

The subspecies vary in their head coloration and abdominal hues. B. z. zonarius and B. z. semitorquatus are characterized by a dull black head, with the former displaying a yellow abdomen and the latter a green one. B. z. semitorquatus is further distinguished by a striking crimson frontal band. In contrast, B. z. barnardi features a bright green crown and nape, turquoise-green underparts with an orange-yellow abdominal band, and a pronounced red frontal band. The B. z. macgillivrayi is paler overall, lacking the red frontal band and presenting a uniform pale yellow band across the abdomen.


These parrots are found in eucalypt woodlands and along eucalypt-lined watercourses, where they are active during daylight hours.


The Australian ringneck has adapted to a wide range of conditions across Australia, barring extreme tropical and highland regions. The four subspecies each occupy distinct ranges within the continent.


Exhibiting gregarious tendencies, Australian ringnecks may either remain resident or become nomadic depending on environmental conditions. They have been known to cause significant damage to young hybrid eucalypt trees in agricultural settings.

Song & Calls

The calls of the Mallee ringneck and Cloncurry parrot resonate with a "ringing" quality, while the Port Lincoln ringneck and Twenty-eight parrot emit more "strident" vocalizations. The Twenty-eight's name itself is derived from its unique call, reminiscent of the phrase "twenty-eight."


Breeding seasons vary geographically, with northern populations commencing in June or July and central to southern populations breeding from August to February. The species nests in tree hollows, typically laying four to five white oval eggs, although clutch sizes can range from three to six.

Conservation status

The Australian ringneck is not considered a threatened species. However, in Western Australia, the Twenty-eight subspecies faces competition for nesting sites from the invasive rainbow lorikeet. Measures, including culls of the lorikeet, are in place to protect the native ringneck populations.

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