Whether we like it or not, parrots are prey animals. Much of their natural behaviour comes from the fact that other birds and animals have evolved to capture, kill and eat them.

This makes most Australian parrot species naturally on constant alert for danger as they eat, preen, nest, roost at night and go about their daily lives.

Before non-native predators were introduced to Australia, the types of native predators that preyed (and still do) on parrots ranging from the smallest species up to cockatoos are:

  • Owls
  • Diurnal Raptors
  • Snakes
  • Monitor Lizards
  • Possums and other native marsupial carnivores (prey on nestlings)
  • Other predatory non-raptor birds like Kookaburras and Butcherbirds (nestlings and sick/injured birds on the ground)

The above are all part of the natural order and parrots make up just part of the diet of the above animals. Each of the above predator types have different techniques of capturing their prey.

The Powerful Owl – the largest owl in Australia found only in the eastern forests – takes parrots (in particular Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Lorikeets and Galahs) and other birds at night whilst the birds are sleeping.

Some diurnal raptors will pursue and capture parrots in flight, including those as large as cockatoos.

Falcons and Goshawks are the two families of diurnal (daytime) birds of prey that are efficient hunters of parrots in flight.

These include Peregrine Falcons, Black Falcons, Brown Goshawks, and Grey Goshawks. It takes exceptional skill and speed to be able to capture birds like Galahs, Corellas, and Budgerigars in flight and these raptors have evolved to do just that.

Today, parrots sadly have additional introduced predators that can cause immense harm to populations. These include:

  • European Red Fox
  • Cats (both wild living/feral and free roaming pets)
  • Dogs (both wild living and off leash pets)

Finally, humans are the predator that cause the most harm and decimation to all parrots and wildlife both directly and indirectly.