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Animals | February 10, 2023 10:09 AM | hangbony

Apparently, Dracula Parrots Are A Thing And They Might Be The Most Gothic Birds On Earth

The Pesquet’s parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus), also known as the vulturine parrot (leading to easy confusion with Pyrilia vulturina from Brazil), is the only member of its genus, and its genus is the only member of the subfamily Psittrichadinae. It is endemic to the hill and montane rainforests of New Guinea. The 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. 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. This rather vulture-like profile is the reason behind its alternative common name. The Pesquet’s parrot is a highly specialized frugivore, feeding almost exclusively on a few species of figs.

Flowers and nectar have also been reported. At least 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, but the two eggs are laid in a nest in a large, hollow tree. It is typically seen in pairs or groups of up to 20 individuals. In flight, it alternates between rapid flapping and short glides. The feathers of the Pesquet’s parrot 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 listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Pesquet’s parrot is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

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