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The Green Parrot of Botany Bay

Recently purchased for the Library's Pictures collection is this charming study, The Green Parrot of Botany Bay, March 1, 1797.

Attributed to Sydenham Edwards, a British natural history illustrator, the work was printed in London in 1797.

The hand-coloured print depicts a parrot from the Sydney region, possibly a Superb Parrot, also known as a Barraband’s Parakeet, or Green Leek Parrot, which is native to southeastern Australia. It is perched on a branch; however it is surrounded by distinctly English plants and background scene.

The Green Parrot is a significant work which adds to the existing State Library’s collection of natural history subject matter and is another example of European responses to Australian plants and animals in the 1780s and 1790s.

Elise Edmonds,

Acting Head of Pictures Section