Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Blue-headed Racket-tailed Parrots aka Palawan Racquet-tail Parrots

Racket-tailed Parrots
Blue-headed Racket-tail Parrot

Status in the Wild / Distribution:

The Blue-headed Racquet-tail Parrots, Prioniturus platenae - also known as Palawan Racquet-tail - are found in the western Philippines, around the island province Palawan.


Habitat:

The Blue-headed Racquet-tail Parrot inhabits humid lowland forest living in small flocks. Their existence is threatened by habitat destruction and trapping for the pet trade.


Description:

This parrot averages 10 inches 26 to 28cm) in length. The plumage is basically green with a bright, light blue head, blue under wings (except for green coverts) and, in the male, bluish breast. The beak is bluish gray and iris is yellowish.

Female is restricted to blue on crown and sides of head. Her breast and abdomen are pale green with traces of blue. .

These are medium-noisy parrots, and can occasionally get loud. Their cries resemble the call of a buzzard - generally melodious.


Aviculture:

Newly imported birds are extremely susceptible and must be carefully acclimatized. The minimum temperature should be 22°C (70°F) during acclimatization, butlater not less than 18°C (65°F). They are initially shy and torpid. They are great chewers, and wood and roots should be provided to satisfy their need to chew and "customize" their environment.

They should be provided a spacious aviary, the minimum dimensions should be: 4 x 2 x 2 m (12 x 6 x 6 ft). The recommended nest box dimensions should be 25 x 25 x 55 cm (10 x 10 x 22 ins) with entrance of 7 cm (3 ins) diameter.


Breeding Behavior:

The breeding season is between March and June, and these parrots breed in colonies. They nest in hollows of tall and dead trees. The eggs measure 31.3 x 25.9 mm (1.23 x 1.01 ins).

Breeding in aviculture has apparently not yet been achieved.


Diet:

Their natural diet consists of fruit (especially banana and berries), nuts and seed. They are also seen feeding in cornfields, where they can cause considerable damage to the crops.

In captivity, they should be provided with various fruits (especially banana, grapes* apple, cactus figs, elder and rowan berries), lory food, safflower seed mixes, paddy rice, wheat, hemp seeds*, canary grass, various millets and sunflower seed (also sprouted); cooked rice; half-ripened maize; rose hips; and twice weekly egg food and hard-boiled egg, which is especially important during breeding season. (*Hemp Seeds are often referred to as "super-seeds" as they offer a complete amino acid profile, have an ideal balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and provide an impressive amount of trace minerals - they also have the highest concentration of protein in the plant kingdom.)

  • It is recommended not to feed more than one grape to a LARGE parrot a day. Less for smaller birds. Some birds have developed renal failure because of grapes.

Taxonomy:

Species: Scientific: Prioniturus platenae aka Prioniturus discurus platenae ... English: Blue-headed Racket-tailed Parrot ... Dutch: Palawan Vlagstaartpapegaai ... German: Blaukopf Spatelschwanzpapagei ... French: Perroquet à raquettes d'iles Palawan ... CITES II - Endangered.

Note: formerly considered conspecific (of, or belonging to, the same species) with Blue-crowned Racquet-tail, P. discurus.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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