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Blue-winged Racquet-tail Parrot


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Blue-winged Racquet-tail

Identification

28–30 cm, plus racquets of 5–6 cm. Green parrot with racquet-like tail extensions, bright blue-green head, sky-blue crown and whitish-grey or bluish-grey bill  , becoming palest at tip; iris pale yellow to brown; legs grey. Male has large red spot in centre of crown, underparts and collar more yellowish green, darker green on wings and head, with bluish wash to inner and outer webs of all primaries, outer tail feathers tipped black and tail spatules also blackish. Most likely to be confused with two sympatric Tanygnathus parrots (T. sumatranus and T. lucionensis), but smaller, appearing shorter-tailed (except racquets, which can be difficult to see) and has pale (not red) bill (female T sumatranus also has white bill, but it is much larger). Similar to wholly allopatric P. montanus but forehead, sides of head and nape green . Female like female montanus but with no (or very little) blue on face (or red spot on crown). Immature is like female but lacks or has only short spatules.

Systematics History

Part of the P. discurus clade (see below). Was previously thought possibly to belong to a group containing P. waterstradtiP. montanus and P. platenae. Sometimes still treated as conspecific with P. montanus, but case recently made for species status . Monotypic.

Subspecies

Monotypic.

Distribution

Sulu Archipelago, in SW Philippines. Possibly persists only on Tawitawi; at least historically, found also on smaller islands of Tumindao (no recent records), Sibutu, Manuk Manka (no recent records), Bongao (considered probably extinct) and Sanga-Sanga (probably extinct).

Habitat

Primary lowland forest bird, including mangroves, forest edge adjacent to cleared and agricultural areas.

Movement

No information.

Diet and Foraging

No precise information.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Vocalizations similarly varied to other Prioniturus, including harsh rasping “aaaaack” notes, or trumpeting lee-aaack  with emphasis on second syllable . Considered to be most vocal in flight .

Breeding

Sept–Jan. Nest recorded in a large broken-off palm tree in a grove of palms close to forest.

 


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