Habitat: Wet Tropics rainforest or open woodland; can be seen in parks or gardens as well

Distribution: Cooktown to Paluma within the northern region of Queensland

Conservation status: Internationally listed as vulnerable (IUCN

Main threats: Habitat loss, climate change 


The Macleay's fig parrot (Cyclopsitta diophthalma macleayana), also known as the red-browed fig parrot, represents a smaller variant within the double-eyed fig parrot subspecies.

They're mainly light green, but they have patches of blue, red, and yellow on their faces. They have very short tails, and disproportionately large heads and bills. Their wings are also green but have a little bit of blue and yellow on them. 

The bright splashes of colour adorning their cheeks and eye surroundings are a great example of sexual dimorphism - the male fig parrots are distinguished by a turquoise ring around their eyes, accompanied by red and blue bands on their cheeks, while the females have more muted facial hues. They still have the turquoise eye rings, but their cheeks are adorned with silver feathers instead of red.

The Macleay's fig parrot typically reaches a size of 5 to 6 inches in length. Its weight varies from 25 to 56 grams, and it boasts a wingspan measuring 10 to 11 inches.

Fun fact: Double-eyed fig parrots like the Macleay's fig parrot are migratory, but only to the country they live in. For example, those residing along the south-eastern coast of Australia would only migrate to the north-eastern part of the country.


The Macleay's fig parrot typically searches for food such as figs, berries, seeds, nectar, and the larvae of insects that bore into wood. 

They tend to fly in a quick and direct manner. They typically emit a soft call when flying or just before take-off. These birds are also vocal when soliciting food or interacting with other birds, however, they remain silent during feeding. They often feed in pairs or small groups.

Unlike most parrots that nest in existing tree hollows, Macleay's fig parrots carve out their own nesting sites, often in decaying trees.

These parrots are monogamous, forming lifelong pair bonds and breeding between March and June. Egg-laying occurs from August to September, typically consisting of two or three eggs. 

The incubation period for their eggs ranges from 18 to 24 days. Throughout November, the adult birds stay in their nests to care for their chicks. After the young parrots have been alive for about a month, the males take on the role of feeding them.

The young are then released from the nest at five-weeks-old.

Having a connected rainforest is crucial to the long-term survival of this species. You can help protect Macleay's fig parrot habitat in the Daintree. Find out how.

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