Bonaparte’s Hanging Parrots

The Bonaparte’s Hanging Parrots (Loriculus philippensis bonapartei) is native to the larger islands in Sulu Archipelago in the Philippines – specifically the islands of Jolo, Bongao and Tawitawi.

They are fairly common in their preferred habitats, namely in forest areas, in secondary vegetation and on coconut plantations; at the forest edge near villages and cultivated areas with bushes. They can be seen on bamboo and fruit trees on Mount Apo, Mindanao from 4,000 ft (~1,200 m) to 8,500 ft (~2,500 m) elevations.

They are mostly seen singly, in pairs, small family groups and, at times, in small flocks. They tend to spend their days foraging in trees and bushes, preferring middle and upper levels.

Occasionally, they are seen near the ground in shaded bushes along river banks. They are well camouflaged by plumage and their flight is described as swift and undulating.


This small hanging parrot averages 5.5 inches (~14 cm) in length. Males have a red throat and breast patch, and their back is tinged gold-yellow. They look similar to the Worcester’s Hanging Parrot, except the back of the head has pronounced orange wash and the back is faintly tinged orange. The bill is black and the feet are grey.

Females look similar to the males, except tey lack the red throat and breast patch. Her upper back is less orange. The lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird’s head), chin and cheeks are only faintly tinged pale blue.


Its natural diet consists of nectar, seeds, soft fruits (especially wild figs), berries and flowers

In captivity, their diet should include plenty of fruits, such as figs, pear, apple, banana, and vegetables, such as carrots, spinach and green salad). They should also be provided with a fruit and five-grain porridge; honey and dextrose, and possibly also lory / softbill food. A seed mix of various millets, canary grass seed, some niger and oats (including sprouted); millet spray (sprouted and unsprouted) should always be available to them. During the breeding season, softened rusk, eggfood and mealworm larvae should be offered to the parents to help them feed the young.

  • Please refer to this webpage for additional information on feeding your hanging parrots.


The breeding season starts around February and may go on until May. An average clutch may costs of 2 to 4 eggs measuring 0.74 x 0.65 ins (18.7 x 16.4 mm). Parents make their nests high up in tree cavities.


Captive breeding of this species has seldom been achieved; however has occurred in communal aviaries. Like other Hanging Parrots, they nest in tree cavities. Provide appropriate nesting material, such as ivy and wood shavings. There are usually three to four white eggs in a clutch, laid at two-day intervals. The eggs are incubated by the female for about 22 days. The young fledge when they are about 33 days old. They continue to be fed by the parents for several weeks after fledging, even though they are able to feed themselves after only few days after fledging.

Ideally, this hanging parrot should be provided a planted, preferably indoor or well-sheltered aviary (unless it is kept in temperate climates) of 6 x 3 x 6 ft (2 x 1 x 2 m) dimensions or larger. It needs to be protected from cold, wet conditions and should not be exposed to temperatures below 68F (20° C) – and not less than 77°F (25°C) during the acclimatization period.

A roosting box should be provided from the beginning — ideally a natural stump 12 inches (80 cm) in height and 5.5 inches (14 cm) in diameter internally. This roosting box is likely to be used for nesting purposes as well.

This quiet parrot is active when unaware of being observed. They do well in a communal aviary with members of same parrot family. They enjoy chewing and a fresh supply of wood (willow or elder) should be provided to them at all times. They are initially shy and when spooked, remain motionless briefly before flying off. At night, they roosts hanging upside down from branch.

This parrot is susceptible to fungal infections, especially when newly imported. Therefore strict hygiene is necessary. It enjoys bathing. Adding a few drops of hydrogen peroxide, GSE or Chinosol (1 gram per liter) should be added to the bathing water to prevent infections. As an additional benefit, GSE also has good anti-parasitic properties. Once acclimatized, they tend to be hardy.

  • Please refer to this webpage for additional information on housing and breeding your hanging parrots.

Call / Song

Their calls are high-pitched, sounding like a rapidly repeated whistling.


Species: Scientific: Loriculus philippensis bonapartei … English: Bonaparte’s Hanging Parrot … Dutch: Bonaparte’s HangPapegaai … German: Sulu Fledermauspapagei … French: Loricule de Bonaparte

CITES II – Endangered Species

Please refer to the following websites for information:

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