Visibly larger and plumper than other NZ parakeets, males reach 32cm in size, females 29cm. Weight 130g. Entirely green head and body, except for blue on wing coverts and some flight feathers, the under parts are tinged yellow.
Habitat and Distribution
Found only on the tussock and scrub of the remote Antipodes Islands (860km southeast of Steward Island), mostly on steep slopes and along water courses.
Protected endemic. There are no threats at present as no mammalian predators occur on the islands, but with a very restricted range, they remain vulnerable.
The diet consists mainly of tussock and sedge leaves supplemented by seeds, berries, buds and flowers. Antips opportunistically scavenge dead seabirds and the remains of broken eggs. Antips also prey on Grey-backed Storm Petrels and will enter the burrows to kill incubating adults – a rare behavior for parrots.
Breeding and Lifecycle
Nesting occurs in well-drained burrows dug into the ground or in the matted mass of large tussocks. Burrows are often over a metre deep. In the wild eggs are laid October until January although this band is wider in captivity. The female alone incubates the eggs for c.28 days while the male helps by feeding the female and the chicks through regurgitation. Breeding can occur within the first year of life and they are thought to live over 10 years in the wild.
Although strong flyers, Antips prefer to walk or climb through vegetation.