The Red-winged Parrot inhabits a wide range of wooded habitats, where they spend much of their time clambering about the outer branches while foraging in the canopy of trees, where they feed on seeds, berries and flowers, or loafing in the shade among the foliage. Their presence in the canopy is often betrayed by their metallic, whistled calls which serve as contact calls between birds, though they sometimes also emit a screech that sounds rather like the call of a Rainbow Lorikeet.
The Red-winged Parrot is a medium-sized, stout parrot and is the only mainly green parrot with large red shoulder patches. The male is bright lime green with a black back and deep blue rump. The tail is green with a yellow tip. The bill and eyes are red and the legs are grey. The female is similar, but with a smaller wing patch and dark green back and a paler rump. Red-winged Parrots are usually seen in pairs or flocks. Their flight is distinctive, with deep, full strokes and a light and airy quality, pausing on each stroke. This species is also known as Crimson-winged or Red-winged Lory, Red Wing or King Parrot.
The Red-winged Parrot usually calls in flight with a sharp metallic ‘crillik, crillik’ and a harsh shrieking ‘chik-chik-chik’ in alarm. Bird call recorded by: James Lambert
Red-winged Parrots are widespread in northern and eastern Australia and are also found in southern New Guinea and Irian Jaya.
Red-winged Parrots are found in open, dry woodlands, timber-lined watercourses and arid scrub, and sometimes in mangroves. They spend most of the day in trees.
The courtship display of the Red-winged Parrot is very colourful: the male circles the favoured female then lowers his wings to expose the blue patch on his lower back, which is usually hidden. He holds his feathers close to his body and contracts his pupils.
Red-winged Parrots feed on seeds, nectar, pollen and blossoms, insects and larvae. They forage in the canopy on the outer branches of flowering trees and shrubs. They occasionally come to the ground to drink or to eat fallen seeds.
Red-winged Parrots breed once each year. Eggs are laid in the hollow trunk of a tall tree, often near the ground. The nesting tree is usually close to water. The nest site may be a long way down from the entrance, which is high in the tree. Only the female incubates, leaving the nest to feed or to be fed by the male.