Parakeet (Yellow crowned) Cyanoramphus auriceps
Species: C. auriceps
Binomial name: Cyanoramphus auriceps
Synonym: Psittacus auric
Common name: Yellow-crowned parakeet, kākāriki.
Cyanoramphus auriceps is a species of parakeet endemic to the islands of New Zealand. The species is found across the main three islands of New Zealand, North Island, South Island and Stewart Island/Rakiura, as well as on the subantarctic Auckland Islands. While uncommon, they are still the most common parakeet in New Zealand.
Yellow-crowned parakeets are 23 cm long and primarily bright green. They have a red band fronting their eponymous golden crown. Their wings, when spread in flight, are bluish purple. Their eyes are either orange or red and their bill is grey. The males of this species are larger than the females. The females can also be distinguished from males as their bills are disproportionally smaller.
Yellow-crowned parakeets subsist on the seeds of beech, flax, and tussock, but also eat fruits, flowers, leaves, shoots, and invertebrates.
These birds build nests in crevices, burrows, and trunks of trees depending on the habitat. Their eggs are white.
Yellow-crowned parakeets prefer the upper canopies of tall, unbroken stub and forest, though they have been observed at high-altitude tussock meadows and on some of the subantarctic islands. A notably favoured habitat is mixed podocarp/nothofagus forest. The preference of C. auriceps for the upper canopies may have placed it at an advantage in comparison to the red-crowned parakeet, as it likely reduced the risk from introduced predators. Numbers have declined due to predation from introduced species such as stoats.
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