aviary  Jakovljević
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Polytelis Swainsonii

Superb parrot is one of the parrot species from Polytelis genus. All species from this genus are gentle, friendly and beautiful colored birds. However, Superbs are the most endangered species from Polytelis genus, they are listed as vulnerable species. Once, these parrots inhabit open lands of Australia , but these days they can be found only in the zone of Victoria, that is on the very south-west of Australia continent. It is estimated that there are only one hundred pairs of them in the wild.

Basic reason for small population that has been declining for over a century, due primarily to agricultural clearance, especially red acacia trees, which are Superb's only wild habitats. Hollows of red acacia trees are, also the only place were they lay eggs. They nest in this kind of forests in which they find a part of their food, however, they are forced to find the rest of the food on the nearby fields.

Barrabant is also called Superb parrot, and I think I do not have to explain what “superb” means, but you can guess why they are called superb. Anyway, Barrabant is a parrot that does not fly that much in the open space, as some other parrot species do. Barrabant likes to stay in the trees, as they are the best in climbing, and enjoy in it. That is why the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union and Australia Government made a program of planting “green corridors” of red acacia trees, so that this extraordinary species do not extinguish and get back their home. The deal that forbid cutting off red acacia trees taller than 1,5 m was made. This should provide enlargement of this species in the future.

a pair of superbs
(female – on the left on the nest, male – on the right on the wire)

Superb is medium sized parrot, as it can reach the size of about 35 to 40 cm. They become sexually matured in the age of two, and in the same period the difference between sexes is much clearer. In that period the female is mostly green with brighter green and grey colorings on her chests, darker green head and blue shades on the face. Legs are grey. The clearest difference between sexes, except the one between head and neck colorings, is the color of the inner side of the feathers. Inner parts of the feathers are partially black green and cyclamen pink. Both male and female have outer part of the tail feathers colored in green shades. The tail is quit long, as it is the case with all species of Polytelis genus.

Male is, as almost all males in parrot's world, brighter and more colorful than female. His chests are brighter green, while the wings are darker green. The tail is in the inner side black, the beak is in its base white, and goes to the pink on the upper part. Forehead and throat are bright yellow. Under the throat, male has red half-ringed feathers. Nape is blue and the legs are grey with black claws, which is the same for the female. This color difference is notable only at mature birds, that is in their age of two or more. Juveniles are very alike the females and it is very hard to distinguish the sexes in their childhood.

Superbs have only one brood per year. Female lays 2 to 4 eggs and sits on them for 21 to 24 days. Chicks stay with parents for about six weeks after they hatch from the eggs, and after the first flight they stay for another 2 months. That is the period of learning how to fly and consume food on their own. After those 2 months they will separate from their parents.

male with its great long tail,
female in the nest

male on the move while dancing the love dance in front of the female

They are fed on usual seed mix for big parrots made of proso, oat, black sunflower (in the winter), black-white sunflower (in the summer because of the fat percent), sorghum, bright seed with a bit of canary seed. Greens are also a part of their every day diet, and they should eat leaves of dandelion, parsley sprigs and spinach. Fruits are very important in that diet, too, so give them apple, apricot, cherry and plum, and for the vegetables they should get carrot, cucumber, sprig of sweet paprika with seed. From time to time enrich their diet with proteins by giving them a peace of cooked white meat of chicken or beef. Barrabants eat using the leg to hold the food, so pieces of food should be served in the suitable size. Minerals and vitamins are important in their everyday diet, and so is the fresh and clean water. This are the basic conditions for healthy life for every bird and so for the Barrabant, too. Chicks should be fed on the mix of hard-boiled eggs, dry bread, poppy and toast or dried bread that was first soaked in half milk half water. The other possibility is to get food for chicks made by German manufacturer of parrot's food “Quiko”, that is already enriched with vitamins and minerals

For its size, gentle song, calm and friendly character, Superb parrot became wanted as a pet, so if you choose one of the Superbs you cannot get wrong.
male and female superb
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