Pesquet's parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus), also known as the Dracula parrot[2] or as the vulturine parrot (leading to easy confusion with Pyrilia vulturina from Brazil), is a member of the Old World parrot family Psittaculidae. It is the only member of the genus Psittrichas. It is endemic to hill and montane rainforests in New Guinea.

Pesquet's parrot
At Miami MetroZoo, USA
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittaculidae
Subfamily: Psittrichasinae
Genus: Psittrichas
Lesson, 1831
P. fulgidus
Binomial name
Psittrichas fulgidus
(Lesson, 1830)

Description edit

Pesquet's parrot is a large parrot with a total length of approximately 46 cm (18 in) and a weight of 680–800 g (24–28 oz). Its plumage is black, with greyish scaling to the chest, and a red belly, uppertail coverts and wing-panels. The adult male has a red spot behind the eye, which is not seen in the adult female.[3] Compared to most other parrots it appears unusually small-headed, in part due to the bare black facial skin and the relatively long, hooked bill, an adaptation for its fruit-based diet. This rather vulture-like profile is the reason behind its alternative common name.[4]

Behaviour edit

Pesquet's parrot is a highly specialised frugivore, feeding almost exclusively on a few species of figs. Flowers and nectar have also been reported. In parts of its range, it is seasonally nomadic in response to the availability of fruits. The bare part of the head is presumably an adaptation to avoid feather-matting from sticky fruits.

Little is known about its breeding habits in the wild. Typically it lays two eggs in a nest in a large, hollow tree.

It is typically seen in pairs or groups up to 20 individuals. In flight, it alternates between rapid flapping and short glides.[5]

Status edit

Its feathers are highly prized. This, combined with high prices in aviculture, has resulted in overhunting. Habitat loss also presents an ongoing problem. For these reasons, it is evaluated as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Pesquet's parrot is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

Gallery edit

References edit

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2017). "Psittrichas fulgidus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T22685025A118772050. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T22685025A118772050.en.
  2. ^ Crew, Becky (2019). "The Dracula parrot is intimidating". Australian Geographic.
  3. ^ Forshaw, Joseph M. (2006). Parrots of the World: An Identification Guide. Illustrated by Frank Knight. Princeton University Press. Plate 23. ISBN 0-691-09251-6.
  4. ^ Handbook of the birds of the world: orders Pterocliformes, Columbiformes, Psittaciformes and Cuculiformes. Barcelona: Lynx edicions. 1997. ISBN 978-84-87334-22-1.
  5. ^ Juniper, Tony; Parr, Michael James (1998). Parrots: a guide to the parrots of the world. Robertsbridge: Pica press. ISBN 978-1-873403-40-2.

External links edit