Friday, Oct 31, 2014

Pygmy Parrots


The Pygmy Parrots of the subfamily Micropsittinae all belong to the genus Micropsitta. They are native to the tropical forests of New Guinea and nearby islands.They are the smallest members of the parrot family.

Pygmy Parrots are the smallest parrots in the world; followed by the Asian Hanging Parrots, the Fig Parrots (from Australia and New Guinea) and, last - but not the least - the well-known and popular African lovebirds and Australian Budgerigars.

Pygmy parrots have never been successfully kept in captivity. All attempts to do so have resulted in the quick deaths of these little parrots. It is assumed that stress and dietary deficiencies are to blame. Little is known about their precise dietary needs.

Pygmy Parrots


The six major sub-species are Yellow-capped, Buff-faced, Finsch's, Geelvink and the Meek's Pygmy Parrots. Oher sub-species are listed below.

Pygmy parrots are tiny birds: fast-moving, mostly green with bright highlights. At a little over 3" (8 cm) in length, the Buff-faced Pygmy Parrot is considerably smaller than a silvereye or a kinglet. In fact, the Buff Faced Pygmy Parrot is the smallest Parrot in the world.

They are fast-moving, mostly green with bright highlights. They spend a good deal of time climbing through foliage, using their oversized feet, beaks, and stiffened tail feathers.

Their natural diet is said to consist of lichens, insects, fungi and mosses, but not much is known about their lifestyles.




Sub-species:


Beccari's Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta pusio beccarii ... English: Beccari's Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Beccaris Spechtpapegaai ... German: Beccaris Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée de Beccari

Distribution: Northern and Western New Guinea, Manam, Karkar and Rook Island


Biak Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta geelvinkiana misorienses ... English: Biak Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Biak Spechtpapegaai ... German: Biak Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée d'ile Biak

Distribution: Biak Island, the largest of the Schouten Islands, off the northern coast of West Papua (the Indonesian part of New Guinea) at the entrance to Cenderawasih (Geelvink) Bay (part of Maluku Islands)


Bougainville Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta finschii nanina ... English: Bougainville Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Bougainville Spechtpapegaai ... German: Bougainville Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée Nanina

Distribution: Bougainville, Choiseul, Ysabel and Bugotu in the Solomon Islands


Bruijn's Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta bruijnii bruijnii ... English: Red-breasted Pygmy Parrot, Bruijn's Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Bruijns Spechtpapegaai ... German: Bruijns Spechtpapagei, Rotkopf Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée à gorge rouge

Distribution: Mountains of New Guinea, Vogelkop, Western New Guinea, Papua


Buffed-faced or Buff-faced Pygmy Parrots:

The Buff-faced Pygmy-parrot (Micropsitta pusio) is probably the smallest parrot of all - averaging about 8 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) in length and weighing around 11.5 g (0.41 oz).

Males and females look alike, except the head markings are smaller in females and facial color is paler. The plumage is mostly green with a yellowish tone on the underparts. The cheeks, face, and crown are buff-colored. There is a dark blue patch on the top of the head back to the occiput. The eyes are dark brown and the bill is grey, and legs are greyish with blue or pinkish tints. Immature birds lack the blue crown (replaced with green) and they have a less distinct buff color.

Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate:

  • pusio - occur on the Bismarck Archipelago and southeastern New Guinea
  • harterti - occur on Fergusson Island in the D'Entrecasteaux Archipelago. They have blue-tinged throats and less distinct markings
  • stresemanni - occur on Misima and Tagula Islands in the Louisiade Archipelago. They are slightly larger and have more yellowish underparts
  • beccarii - occur in western New Guinea from Cenderawasih Bay to the Kumusi River. They have a darker plumage overall.

The are found in the subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests in Indonesia and across the northern lowlands of the island of New Guinea from the west to the southeastern tip up to an altitude of around 800 m, as well as in the Bismarck Archipelago. They are usually seen in small groups of up to six birds and are highly active.

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta pusio pusio ... English: Buff-faced Pygmy Parrot, Sclater's Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Sclaters Spechtpapegaai, Blauwschedelspechtpapegaai ... German: Sclaters Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée à face brunâtre

Distribution Map: Maluku Islands

Buru Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta bruijnii pileata ... English: Buru Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Buru Roodkopspechtpapegaai ... German: Buru Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée Buru

Distribution: Mountains of Buru and Seram in the Southern Moluccas, Indonesia


Finsch's Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta finschii finschii ... English: Finsch's Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Finsch' Spechtpapegaai ... German: Finschs Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée de Finsch

Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate: viridifrons, finschii, aolae, tristami, nanina

Distribution: They are restricted to New Ireland and Bougainville in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. It has an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 20,000-50,000 km2, and is a fairly common species of lowland forests, occurring to about 1,000 m. Although there are reports that it is poorly tolerant of logged and degraded forest (Buckingham et al. 1995, Schodde 1977) and local extirpations may have occurred (Blaber 1990), it is frequently recorded elsewhere in logged forest (B. Beehler in litt. 2000). However, the lowlands throughout the region are subject to extensive logging. The global population size has not been quantified, but it is believed to be large as the species is described as 'common' in at least parts of its range (del Hoyo et al. 1997). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.


Geelvink Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta geelvinkiana geelvinkiana ... English: Geelvink Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Geelvink Spechtpapegaai ... German: Schlegels Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée d'ile numfor

Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate: geelvinkiana, misonensis

Distribution: Numfor Island


Guadalcanal Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta finschii aolae ... English: Guadalcanal Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Guadalcanal Spechtpapegaai ... German: Guadalcanal Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée de Aola

Distribution: Guadalcanal, Malaita and the Rusell Islands in the Solomon Islands


Hartert's Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta bruijnii necopinata ... English: Hartert's Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Harterts Roodkopspechtpapegaai ... German: Harterts Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée l'archipel Bismarck

Distribution: New Britain, New Ireland in the Bismarck Archipelago


Mayr's Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta pusio harterti ... English: Mayr's Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Mayrs Spechtpapegaai ... German: Mayrs Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée de Hartert

Distribution: Ferguson Island in the D'Entrecasteaux Archipelago


Meek's Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta meeki meeki ... English: Meek's Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Meeks Spechtpapegaai ... German: Meeks Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée de Meek

Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate: meeki, proxima

Distribution: Admiralty Island


New Ireland Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta finschii viridifrons ... English: New Ireland Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: New Ireland Spechtpapegaai ... German: Neu-Irland Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée à front vert

Distribution: Lihir Islands, New Hanover, New Ireland in the Bismarck Archipelago


Red-breasted Pygmy ParrotsRed-breasted Pygmy Parrots:

The Red-breasted Pygmy-parrot (Micropsitta bruijnii) is found in the boreal forests, subtropical or tropical forest areas of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands. They occur at higher altitudes than other pygmy parrots, and use trees rather than arboreal termite nests as breeding sites. Red breasted Pygmy parrots only average 8 cm or 3 inches in length. They have jerky movements and cling close to the bark as they search for lichens growing in the trees, which form the majority of their diet.

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta bruijnii bruijnii ... English: Red-breasted Pygmy Parrot, Bruijn's Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Bruijns Spechtpapegaai ... German: Bruijns Spechtpapagei, Rotkopf Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée à gorge rouge

Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate: pileata, bruijnii, necopinata, rosea

Distribution: Mountains of New Guinea, Vogelkop, Western New Guinea, Papua


Red-crowned Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta bruijnii rosea aka Micropsitta bruijnii brevis ... English: Red-crowned Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Roodkopspechtpapegaai ... German: Rotscheitel Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule à crète rouge

Distribution: Bougainville, Guadalcanal, Kulambangra in the Solomon Islands


Saint Matthias Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta meeki proxima ... English: Saint Matthias Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Sint Matthias Spechtpapegaai ... German: Sankt Matthias Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée d'ile St. Matthias

Distribution: St. Matthias and Squally Islands


Sclater's Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta pusio pusio ... English: Buff-faced Pygmy Parrot, Sclater's Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Sclaters Spechtpapegaai, Blauwschedelspechtpapegaai ... German: Sclaters Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée à face brunâtre

Distribution: Bismarck Archipelago, South-eastern New Guinea


Stresemann's Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta pusio stresemanni ... English: Stresemann's Pygmy Parrot... Dutch: Stresemanns Spechtpapegaai ... German: Stresemanns Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée de Stresemann

Distribution: Misima and Tagula Island in the Louisiade Archipelago


Tristams Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta finschii tristami ... English: Tristams Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Tristams Spechtpapegaai ... German: Tristams Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée de Tristam

Distribution: Vella Lavella, Gizo, Kulambangra, New Georgia, Rubiana, Rendova


Yellow-capped Pygmy ParrotsYellow-breasted Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta keiensis chloroxantha aka Micropsitta keiensis sociabilis ... English: Yellow-breasted Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Roodborstspechtpapegaai ... German: Rotbrüstiger Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée à buste nacarat

Distribution: Western Papua Islands, Vogelkop and Onin Peninsulas, Western New Guinea


Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Micropsitta keiensis keiensis ... English: Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot ... Dutch: Geelkapspechtpapegaai ... German: Salvadoris Rotbrüstiger Spechtpapagei ... French: Psittacule pygmée de Keiensis

Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate: keiensis, chloroxantha, viridipectus

Distribution: Kai and Aru Islands in the province of Maluku in eastern Indonesia (please refer to above map)

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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