The Port Lincoln Parrot belongs to the Barnardius group of Australian parrots with long broad tails. The group also includes the slightly larger Twenty-Eight Parrot (Barnardius z. semitorquatus) a subspecies of the Port Lincoln, which is similar in appearance except for the red frontal band above the cere that is always present in the Twenty-Eight, it sometimes occurs in the Port Lincoln and the light green abdomen, the Paler Port Lincoln Parrot (Barnardius z. occidentalis ) another subspecies of the Port Lincoln, the Cloncurry Parrot (Barnardius macgillivrayi), and the Mallee or Barnard's Parrot (Barnardius barnardi). In the wild, many hybrids occur.
This is a large parrot that requires a large and sturdy cage as its beak is formidable. Even parent-raised birds quickly acclimatize and become tame and friendly to their keepers. Like the rosella, the Port Lincoln is not a cuddly bird that can be held or that always perches on the owner's shoulder. However, this can be advantageous if you own other birds that require more attention. The Port Lincoln is also not very aggressive toward other and smaller birds except when breeding. It is a hardy bird that lives an average 18 years, though some individuals may live much longer. Port Lincolns are good eaters and sometimes accept animal protein like mealworms.
The cock and hen are very similar in appearance. The top of the head is black and the lower cheeks are blue. There is a yellow band around the neck and the upper part and sides of the belly are yellow. The upper breast is green with a blue sheen, and the upper wing coverts are blue. The beak is grayish white and the feet are gray-brown. The iris is dark brown. This is a very stocky bird. Young birds are somewhat duller in color and have flesh-colored beaks. The related Twenty-eight (Barnardius semiquartus) parrot occurs in a blue and a yellow mutation.
Port Lincolns have a high, clear repeated whistle call. They are lively and entertaining birds that can learn to talk in clear, cute voices.