Pesquet’s Parrot

Pesquets Parrot

Pesquet’s Parrot: know also as  Dracula parrot or as  vulturine parrot,46 cm; 690–800 g. Bill, bare face to behind eye and head and upperparts black, with a vague red patch behind the eye, dull red upper tail-coverts, and red median and greater wing-coverts and outer secondaries; throat to upper belly black with greyish edging, making scaled effect; belly to under tail-coverts red; tail black.

Pesquet’s ParrotFemale lacks a red patch behind the eye and is slightly smaller on average. Immature is duller red. Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus) is uniformly blackish grey with a small pink face patch and a very heavy bill. Female Eclectus roratus has a bright red head and blue body. Crows (Corvus) spp. are all black with straighter bills.

Psittrichas fulgidus Scientific name definitions

  • VU Vulnerable
  • Names (16)
  • Monotypic

Systematics History





Mountains of New Guinea.


Primary and tall secondary forest in foothills and lower mountains from 500 to 1800 m, occasionally ranging into lowlands (down to 30 m)  and almost to 2000 m.

Diet and Foraging

Appears to be a specialist on fruits of certain figs (Ficus), in particular F. sterrocarpaF. hesperidiformis, and possibly F. baeuerlenii, but other soft fruit also taken, including mangoes (Mangifera indica) and climbing pandans.

Blossoms and nectar, and flowers of Freycinetia mangospandans, were also reported. Dietary studies in captivity indicate that species have low protein requirements, although it perhaps ingests fig wasps incidentally.

It is possible that Psittrichas plays a complicated role as a keystone mutualist, opening hard-walled figs to smaller birds that disperse more seeds than Psittrichas, although seeds appear to pass through this species’ gizzard intact.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Gives harsh, rasping or growling screams, audible at some distance, especially in flight, and likened to the heavy cloth being torn, “aaar” or “caar”, similar to those of Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) but higher-pitched, less rasping and weaker;

also gives a double-call, with the first note on the constant pitch and hoarse, the second slurred, nasal, and squeaky. Pairs may keep in vocal contact over long distances and use hard grating calls to defend fruiting trees.


Breeding condition birds in Feb, Apr, May; fledged juveniles in Dec. Requires large hollow trees for nesting; the only nest described in the literature was in a cavity 12 m above ground and 1·2 long, lined with bits of wood, and partially concealed by a climbing aroid (Araceae) and a Freycinetia sp. (Pandanaceae) climber.

The usual brood size appears to be two. Pesquet’s Parrot In captivity: two eggs; incubation lasting 27 or 31 days, with male provisioning female; chick has yellow-white down, and total time from egg-laying to fledging is at least 76 days. Young in captivity thrive on a low-protein diet, but die if fed foods given to most parrots.

Cute Pesquet’s Parrot (Psittrichas Fulgidus) Sound

SOURCE: Fritids Tur

Conservation Status

VULNERABLE. CITES II. Population perhaps just fewer than 21,000 pairs. Marked variations in local abundance, with flocks of up to 20 recorded, although the mean group size is just 2·6 birds.

Although still not uncommon in remote areas, numbers have declined drastically on account of hunting pressure, and the species has disappeared from forests near human habitation.

Skins are used as a “bride” price in the highlands, costing around K50 (c. $40)  in markets, and are even more valuable than bird-of-paradise plumes; however, birds are also used for food.

Deforestation is also afflicting the species and to some extent trapping for the bird trade. Four possible conservation measures have been suggested:  increase field studies;  restrict the transport of live birds on domestic flights; 

replace the use of Psittrichas feathers with dyed chicken feathers; instruct tourists not to purchase handicrafts containing Psittrichas or other animal parts.

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