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With European settlement, the landscape of Australia changed dramatically due to clearing for agriculture, forestry and urban development. These changes have impacted on the diversity and abundance of many Australian native fauna. The avifauna provides a conspicuous example. Despite their generally striking colours, strident call and large body size, the status of parrot populations in urban regions have been largely ignored. We reviewed three bird data bases to determine trends. The two species, recorded within 10 km of Sydney's General Post Office pre-1900, are no longer present, although 15 species are now known from this area. Populations of the five most common of these species have continued to increase in the last 20 years, one appears to have remained unchanged and others are present in insufficient numbers to comment. No species appears to have declined in numbers. Escapees or deliberate releases from aviaries are major sources of birds that establish viable populations, although even in these populations, numbers may also have been supplemented by vagrants. We suggest that supplementary feeding, and changes in the vegetation in the city landscape, are major contributing factors to the current diversity and abundance of parrots within Sydney.

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