The Masked Shining Parrot (Prosopeia personata) is known by a variety of names – including Yellow-breasted Shining Parrot, Masked Musk-Parrot, Perruche Masquée, or Papagayo Enmascarado.
The Masked Shining Parrot is the only larger native parrot on the island of Viti Levu. However, there are some small numbers of naturalized, similar-sized Crimson Shining-parrot (P. splendens) from Kadavu and Red Shining-parrot (P. tabuensis) from Koro, Gau, Vanua Levu and Taveuni. However, they cannot be visually confused – as the Masked Shining Parrot has a blackish head, while the others have red heads, and the rest of the plumage is also different for the most part.
Their favored habitat includes subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical mangrove forests, subtropical or tropical moist montanes, arable land, and rural gardens.
Distribution / Range:
This parrot is endemic to southwest Fiji. At this point in time it is only found on Viti Levu – the largest island in the Republic of Fiji. Its natural range used to include the nearby islands of Ovalau and Mbau, but officially it is believed that these parrots have become extinct on those islands. This being said, there have been some reports of unconfirmed sightings of these parrots on Ovalau and Mbau (small islands adjacent to Viti Levu).
This species is threatened by habitat destruction. These parrots breeds in tall trees, but as much of the original lowland forest cover has been cut and now they are now restricted to the hills. It is estimated that only about 5,000 Masked Shining Parrots exist in their natural habitat. It has a small range, but is not yet severely fragmented or restricted to few locations. As more trees are cut, it is likely that these numbers will continue to decline. There are also occurrences of hunting these parrots or capturing them for the pet trade. Even though these parrots are officially protected, law enforcement on the island lacks the funds and manpower to enforce these laws. This species is, therefore, classified as Near Threatened.
The Masked Shining Parrots average 47 – 48 cm or 18.3 – 19 inches in length (including tail) and weigh around 322 g (11.3 oz).
Both adults look alike. This is a bright green parrot with a long tail and a striking orange-yellow breast and belly. They have a black face that merges into sooty-black towards the beak. There breast and upper abdomen are yellow turning to orange on the lower abdomen. The outer webs of the primary feathers are purple/blue. The underside of the tail-feathers are blackish and the, upperside is green washed with blue. The bill is grey/black, the feet are black and the eyes are orange. They have narrow black periophthalmic (eye) rings.
Look similar to adults, but they have a less extensive black face mask and a horn-colored bill, streaked with grey. They have brown / dark eyes.
Call / Vocalization:
Masked Shining Parrots make a wide variety of raucous, penetrating squawks and screeches. They make harsh, grating notes while in flight – usually repeated. Their sentinel (alarm calls) are high-pitched similar notes rapidly repeated. They make cackling sounds when roosting. Their call / contact notes are loud and boisterous.
Breeding / Nesting:
The Masked Shining Parakeets (Prosopeia personata) 47 cm / 18.8 in; Length: Approx. 470 – 480 mm (or approx. 18.5 – 19 inches) Clutch: 2-4; Incubation days: 24 – 25 days
Class: Aves … Order: Psittaciformes … Family: Psittacidae … Subfamily: Psittacinae …Genus: Scientific: Prosopeias … English: Masked Parakeets … Dutch: Maskerparkieten … German: Pompadoursittiche … French: Perruche masquée … CITES II: Endangered Species
Species:Scientific: Prosopeia personata … English: Masked Shining Parrot … Dutch: Maskerparkiet … German: Maskensittich … French: Perruche masquée
Other Common Names:
French: Perruche masquée … German: Maskensittich … Spanish: Papagayo Enmascarado