Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

The Biology of the Ground Parrot, Pezoporus wallicus, in Queensland. I. Microhabitat Use, Activity Cycle and Diet

DC McFarland

Wildlife Research 18(2) 169 - 184
Published: 1991


The microhabitat use, activity cycle and diet of the ground parrot in Cooloola National Park was examined by flushing birds, plotting call locations, radio-tracking 12 individuals, and sampling crop contents of trapped birds. Within a heathland, parrots appeared to use all parts of the dry and wet microhabitats but few of them used sedgelands and shrub- or tree-dominated areas. Birds visited dry microhabitats between late autumn and early summer, but used wet microhabitats mostly in summer. The shifts between dry and wet corresponded to changes in seed availability and accessibility, and may also be linked to climate. Radio-tracked birds were active throughout the day, with peaks just after sunrise, at mid-morning and in late afternoon. Voluntary flights were recorded only in the dawn and dusk calling periods. Home range area averaged 9.2 ha during all tracking periods, the smallest ranges being recorded in spring. Mean adult range (5.6 ha) was smaller than that of subadults (13.9 ha). There was considerable overlap in home ranges among individuals but little overlap in foraging areas. Ground parrots in Cooloola fed on seeds from at least 40 different species of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants. Selection appeared to be based on whatever seeds were available, accessible and of a size that could be handled.


© CSIRO 1991

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