Fun Night Parrot Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Apr 28, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary
Night Parrot facts about the nocturnal parrot species once present across the Australian Outback.

The Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis) is known by many names such as midnight cockatoo, nocturnal ground parakeet, porcupine parrot, ground parrot, and more. The funny thing is their sightings have occurred fewer times than their number of names. It is one of the only two nocturnal parrots in the world.

These birds are found in the Australian outbacks. This Australian species has not developed the vision to see in the dark and they have trouble seeing in the dark.

Night Parrots are territorial birds. They leave their territory only in search of water and when attacked by predators. Among the main predators of Night Parrots are feral cats.

Here are some interesting facts about the elusive bird species of ground parrot that once inhabited the Australian outbacks. Afterward, do check our other articles on the thick-billed parrot and sulfur-crested cockatoo.

Night Parrot Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Night Parrot?

A Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis) is a bird. The spinifex parrot is a ground-dwelling parrot species that comes out during the dark. The Australian Night Parrots are small-sized birds.

What class of animal does a Night Parrot belong to?

A Night Parrot belongs to the bird class of animals. It is a nocturnal parrot. This species of bird is very rare and are found only in Australia, primarily in Western Australia and Queensland.

How many Night Parrots are there in the world?

The records suggest that there are between 30-100 adult Night Parrots in the world. But the exact number is yet unknown to the scientists.

Their population is severely decreasing every year which is why they are critically endangered. These birds of Australia were known to be extinct for nearly a century when a researcher from Queensland rediscovered them in 2013.

Where does a Night Parrot live?

A nocturnal Night Parrot lives in the woods. These ground parrots from Australian outbacks are commonly found in shrublands and spinifex grasslands near water sources.

What is a Night Parrot's habitat?

Night Parrot habitats are most commonly grasslands and shrublands. These birds of Australia prefer the spinifex grass for nesting. Birds of this species hide in the spinifex grass during the day.

These birds like to stay near water sources to have quick access and to be able to stay in their territory and not leave it. Some of the birds of the Night Parrot species are known to live in eucalyptus woodlands, chenopod shrublands, and mallee shrublands.

They are most commonly found in Australia's immense arid interiors. They build ring-shaped hummock nests with dry grass. These nests are tapered towards the upper end.

Who do Night Parrots live with?

Night Parrots live in pairs with birds of their species. These birds from Australia are very secretive nocturnal birds and like to hide away from other animals and humans. No Night Parrot has ever been spotted near a human settlement.

How long does a Night Parrot live?

A Night Parrot’s lifespan is up to 10 years. This is just an estimate done by the researchers. The actual lifespan has not been recorded due to the limited sightings of these birds.

How do they reproduce?

Little information is available to date on the breeding habits of Night Parrots species. Australia's Night Parrots breeding is known to occur post-monsoon season. They rebuild or repair their nests after the rainy season due to the damage suffered in the monsoons.

These birds lay eggs in their elaborately built nests from spinifex grass and other material. The Night Parrot’s eggs are rounded and oval-shaped.

They are white in color and small in size. The incubation period, nesting period, and fledging period of the Night Parrot chicks are unknown. The young ones are fed by both parents.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Night Parrot is Endangered. These birds have become very rare and very rarely were spotted in the past. Their population is predicted to be severely decreasing and their disappearance is evidence of that.

Night Parrot Fun Facts

What does Night Parrots look like?

Night Parrots are yellowish-green in color. They have dark brown, black, and yellow dots and stripes all over their yellowish-green plumage. The Night Parrot’s tail is very short compared to other parrots. They can easily blend in with their surroundings since their body acts as camouflage.

Their eyes are round in shape and black in color. Their feet and beak both are yellowish. The University of Queensland is doing more research on the looks and behavior of Night Parrots.

Alpine Parrot.

*Please note the main image and this image is of an Alpine Parrot, not a Night Parrot. If you have an image of a Night Parrot, let us know at

How cute are they?

Night Parrots are very cute. They are hard to spot birds, but the lucky ones who were able to see them describe them to be truly beautiful. The vivid patterns on their wings are amazing.

How do they communicate?

Night Parrots are very vocal birds. Members of this bird species communicate with each other by using specific sounds. Their voice is described as croaked.

They like to whistle in long and short rhythms. A 'ding-ding' whistle is recorded many times by the recording microphones planted in the wilderness. Hearing this, Australia's most mysterious bird’s voice is a holy grail.

How big is a Night Parrot?

A Night Parrot is a small-sized bird. Its height ranges from 9-10 in (22.9-25.4 cm). Their tail is short places their length is between the range of 8-10 in (20.3-25.4 cm). These Night Parrot birds are five times bigger than a large-sized sparrow.

How fast can a Night Parrot fly?

Night Parrots can have a maximum speed of 131 ft per hour. It is a pretty average speed for parrot species and birds of their size and weight.

How much does a Night Parrot weigh?

The small-sized Night Parrots have very little weight. The biggest of them can weigh up to 3.5 oz (99.2 g). Their low weight helps them on the flight.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male Night Parrots are called cocks and the female Night Parrots are called hens.

What would you call a baby Night Parrot?

A young baby Night Parrot is called a chick.

What do they eat?

Night Parrots are herbivorous birds. Their diet includes seeds of grasses and herbs. 

Are they dangerous?

Night Parrots are not dangerous. They are mysterious and keep to themselves. Members of this bird species do not like getting involved with humans or other animals besides their species.

Would they make a good pet?

Very little is known about Night Parrots and their behavior. Their behavior with humans has never been recorded. Hence, it is hard to say how members of this bird species would react when kept as a pet.

Did you know...

In 2013, a photographer named John Young managed to capture a seconds-long video of a Night Parrot in Western Queensland. Previously dead specimens of these elusive birds were found in Western Queensland, which was studied at the University of Queensland.

Western Australia's KJ rangers recorded sound samples of Night Parrots. These Western Australians were very thrilled by that.

A special Night Parrots Reserve named Pullen Pullen Reserve is established in a bioregion of the National Reserve System.

Is the Night Parrot extinct?

No, Night Parrots are not extinct. But their conservation status is Critically Endangered. There are only 30-100 Night Parrots left in the world.

Are Night Parrots nocturnal?

Yes, Night Parrots are nocturnal. They go on to find food during the night. Their days are spent in their nests and they very rarely step out during the daytime.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our Rhinoceros Hornbill facts, and Boreal Chickadee fun facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Night Parrot coloring pages.

*Please note the main image is of a Western ground parrot. If you've been lucky enough to spot a Night Parrot, please get in touch at

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary

Bachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

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Smriti ChaudharyBachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

Smriti, a student data scientist, and coder, is pursuing her Bachelor of Technology at K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering. She has achieved top rankings in the International English Olympiad, National Spelling Bee, and PSAT/SAT English Section. She is experienced in content creation and editing for various academic institutions.

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