Red-breasted Pygmy-Parrot

Red-breasted Pygmy Parrot

Micropsitta bruijnii Scientific name definitions

  • LC Least Concern
  • Names (15)
  • Subspecies (4)


8–9 cm; 12–16 g. Forehead 

© Carlos BocosPapua Barat, Papua, Indonesia 12 Jun 2017Macaulay Library ML 204129471eBird S64969645

rusty shading to dull blue on hind-crown, nape, sides of neck 

© Lars PeterssonPapua Barat, Papua, Indonesia 05 Aug 2013Macaulay Library ML 205902341eBird S65189072

and frontal half-collar; face yellow shading redder on ear-coverts; breast 

© Mehd HalaouatePapua Barat, Papua, Indonesia 20 Sep 2009Macaulay Library ML 205952381eBird S65187187

to undertail-coverts orange-red; back and flanks 

© Lars PeterssonPapua Barat, Papua, Indonesia 05 Aug 2013Macaulay Library ML 205902331eBird S65189072

green; wings 

© Lars PeterssonPapua Barat, Papua, Indonesia 05 Aug 2013Macaulay Library ML 205902351eBird S65189072

green with black spotting on median wing-coverts; tail blue centrally, black laterally. Female 

© Mehd HalaouatePapua Barat, Papua, Indonesia 20 Sep 2009Macaulay Library ML 205952391eBird S65187187

has whitish buff forehead and face, blue crown, rest green with yellow underparts. Immature like female with whitish forehead and face. Race pileata 

© Robert HutchinsonMaluku, Maluku, Indonesia 01 Sep 2006Macaulay Library ML 205224201eBird S65099770

claimed to have deeper and more extended rust-red on crown, although this is not readily apparent on the only skins; necopinata has deep brown crown, yellowish in centre, with red-orange face and yellow undertail-coverts; rosea has crown reddish pink, face pinker than nominate.

Systematics History

Editor’s Note: This article requires further editing work to merge existing content into the appropriate Subspecies sections. Please bear with us while this update takes place.Race pileata known in museums from only three male skins, none of which shows great differences from range of variation present in nominate race. A distinct yellow-crowned form has been noted in Ok Tedi region of Papua New Guinea. Possible undescribed subspecies in Obi (NC Moluccas) (1). Five subspecies currently recognized.


Individuals recently recorded in Obi (NC Moluccas) possibly of a new subspecies (1).


Micropsitta bruijnii pileata Scientific name definitions


S Moluccas (Seram and Buru)


Micropsitta bruijnii bruijnii Scientific name definitions

M. b. bruijnii+1


mountains of New Guinea from Vogelkop Peninsula in W to Huon Peninsula and Owen Stanley Range in E.


Micropsitta bruijnii necopinata Scientific name definitions

M. b. necopinata


New Britain and New Ireland (Bismarck Archipelago).


Micropsitta bruijnii rosea Scientific name definitions

M. b. rosea


Bougainville, Guadalcanal and Kolambangara (Solomon Is).


Editor’s Note: Additional distribution information for this taxon can be found in the ‘Subspecies’ article above. In the future we will develop a range-wide distribution article.


Canopy of dense hill forest at 700 m, cloud forest at 1300 m, moss forest at 2000 m; range generally 500–2300 m although seen in lowlands on Buru; also forest edge and Albizia shade trees in coffee plantations, occasionally in coffee plantations and riparian growth. Not found in moss forest, Kolombangara, although common in tall montane forest up to 1300 m.


Probably nomadic, although in places possibly a regular migrant, e.g. reportedly an annual visitor to lowlands of Buru at the start of the dry season in Oct/Nov; thought nomadic on New Britain.

Diet and Foraging

Food gleaned methodically from on or under bark in upper branches of trees, sometimes with regular mechanical pecking action, but stomach contents usually indeterminate; fungus, lichen 

© Lars PeterssonPapua Barat, Papua, Indonesia 05 Aug 2013Macaulay Library ML 205902321eBird S65189072

and moss have been observed being taken; white paste found in stomachs may be corollas of white-flowered Schefflera, which contain a great deal of nectar. Has been seen feeding on fruit and possibly also flowers and lichen in canopy of Syzygium tree.


Dec–Apr. Nest is hole in dead stump or tree, 3–4 m from ground; one was apparently attended by a male and two females.

Conservation Status

Conservation status on BirdlifeLC Least ConcernNot globally threatened. CITES II. Usually considered uncommon to rare on Seram and Buru, but easily overlooked. Widespread but local in New Guinea; undescribed form at Ok Tedi common, with 650 counted flying NE in Nov 1992. Common locally in Bismarck Archipelago; common on Kolombangara.

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