a showy, vinelike plant, Clianthus puniceus, of New Zealand, having clusters of eight white-streaked, crimson flowers.
Also called parrot-beak [par-uht-beek] , red kowhai.

1865–70; presumably translation of the Maori name of the plant, kōwhai ŋutukākā literally, kaka-billed kowhai Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To parrotbill
Encyclopedia Britannica


any of 14 species of the songbird family Panuridae (order Passeriformes) that have a deep and compressed bill like a parrot's. They occur in brushy grasslands of central and eastern Asia. A typical species is Gould's parrotbill (Paradoxornis flavirostris); 18 centimetres (7 inches) long, it is brown above and white below, with a heavy-looking head and black markings around the eyes and in the ear region. Some of the smaller species, formerly separated as Suthora, are brightly coloured; an example is the 11-cm (4 12-in.) vinous-throated parrotbill (P. webbiana; see ), a garden bird in Chinese cities.

Learn more about parrotbill with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature