The Greater Vasa Parrots
The Greater Vasa Parrot (Coracopsis vasa) is one of the most unusual parrots in the world; and their popularity has grown amongst aviculturalists and the pet bird owners.
The Greater Vasa Parrot is one of two species of vasa parrot, the other being the Lesser Vasa Parrot ,C. nigra. This parrot occurs naturally in portions of the Madagascar dry deciduous forests and surrouding islands in the western Indian Ocean. They were possibly introduced to Réunion.
The Tui Parakeet (Brotogeris sanctithomae) is found along the entire length of the Amazon River, as well as its tributaries – specifically the Amazon range of Brazil to eastern Ecuador and northern Bolivia.
In the late ’60s and early ’70s, these parakeets were imported into the United States in large numbers until the importation ceased following an export ban. At the time, there was little interest in breeding these parakeets and nowadays this parakeet is almost nonexistent in the U.S. Now the delightful little Tui Parakeets are highly sought after by aviculturists.
The Vulturine Parrot has a total length of ca. 23 – 24 cm (9.2 – 9.5 in). It has a rather short, squarish tail, and a mainly green plumage, which typically is tinged blue, especially below. The chest is olive-brown. The underwing coverts are bright red, and when perched this can be hinted as an orange-red shoulder-patch. The under-tail is yellowish with a bluish tip (appears dark against light). The outer webs and tips of the remiges (flight feathers – typically only visible in flight) are bluish-black, making the outer sections of the upperwing appear quite uniformly dark in flight. The arguably most conspicious feature, however, is its un-feathered blackish and orange-pinkish head, bordered by a broad yellow collar of feathers, followed by a second blackish collar. This bare, vaguely vulture-like head is the reason behind its common name. Juveniles have a feathered greenish head.
Little is known about its behavior, but it is suspected the bare head is an adaption to avoid feather-matting from sticky fruits. It has also been recorded feeding on seeds and berries.
White-crowned Pionus or White-crowned Parrot (pionus senilis)
The White-crowned Pionus or White-crowned Parrot (pionus senilis) is endemic to western Panama to south-eastern Mexico in San Luis Potosi and southern Tamaulipas, mainly along Pacific slopes. Its preferred habitat includes the lowland areas and foothills locally up to 1600 m altitude, usually they are hidden in the forest canopies or can be found along the edges and adjacent semi-open woodland and second growth.
The White-crowned Parrot feeds in social flocks of 30-50 birds, which may wander outside the breeding range once nesting has finished. It feeds on taking various seeds, nuts and fruits, and can be pest in crops of corn or sorghum, and commercial fruit plantations. It can be unobtrusive when feeding since it is slow-moving, usually silent, and keeps in the canopy. However, at rest it often perches conspicuously at the top of an unopened palm frond. Its flight call is a screeched kreeah.
White-headed Pionus aka White-headed Parrots
The White-headed Parrot averages 12 inches (30 cm) in length. Its plumage is mostly green. The forehead and crown are whitish-grey with salmon-colored edging. The back of the head, nape and the side of the neck are greyish-blue with a white base and violet-black edging. Theear-coverts are dark grey with whitish-pink center. The cheeks and chin are whitish with a broad brownish-grey edging. There is a pink band across the throat merging with the brownish grey-blue of the breast. The abdomen is greyish brown-green with each feather edged rust color. The under tail-coverts are red. The primary wing feathers and wings are green. The under wing-coverts and underside of flight-feathers are dull green. The middle tail-feathers are green. The outer tail-feathers have dull reddish-blue tips and a red base. The bill is pale horn-colored. The eye rings are grey and the irises brown. Their feet are grey.
Young birds have a green edging to their head feathers. The chin, breast and abdomen are green. The red under tail-coverts are edged with green. They have dark irises.
Canary-winged parakeets are small stocky parakeets – about 8.5 to 10 inches (21 to 25 cm) long — nearly half of its length (4.3 inches or 10.8 cm) is made up by its pointed tail. They are slightly larger than grey-cheek parakeets and lovebirds.
The plumage of the canary-wing islime green in color; a little darker green on the breast and underneath. The canary-winged parakeet has a trailing yellow edge on its folded wings. One of its most distinguished characteristics is the white wing patches that are most noticed when this parakeet is in flight. There are some blue marks under the tail and possibly on the wings. The eyes are brown; the beak is pale and the legs are pinkish in color.
Like the other members of Brotogeris, they are not sexually dimorphic and must be sexed either by DNA or surgically.
Young birds look like adults, but the overall plumage is duller in coloration.
It is closely related to the Canary-winged Parakeet. In fact, it was considered conspecific (of, or belonging to, the same species) until 1997. (Please refer to the physical differences as featured on the image to the right – also below is some information about the species controversy.)
Males and females are not sexually dimorphic and must be sexed either surgically or by DNA.
The plumage is mostly bright green; the underparts are a paler green and the underwing coverts are yellow-green. The wings are a slightly darker green and have a trailing yellow edge on its folded wings that is also seen when this parakeet is in flight.
Their hook-shaped beaks are orange-brown and the legs and feet are pink-grey. They have creamy-white eye rings and dark brown eyes.
These parrots average 10.5 ins (27 cm) in length. Their plumage is mostly green, edged with dark green. The forehead, lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird’s head), crown and ear-coverts are variably yellow, some older birds have entire head and abdomen yellow to orange; edge of wing yellowish-green. Front of forehead in many birds bare with plucked appearance. The tail is green with greenish-yellow tips; outer tail feathers with broad orange-red band. The bill is horn-colored with black base and their irises are yellow. The feet are greyish-flesh color and their cere pink.
These small, bright green parakeets are 23 – 25 cm or ~9 – 9.2 inches long (including the tail).
The plumage is mainly green. The breast, abdomen and under tail fathers are yellowish-green. The narrow red band to its forehead extends to the eyes. The crown is yellow. There is a red patch on each side of the lower back. The outer webs of the flight-feathers are violet-blue. The irises are orange-red and the bill is a pale bluish-grey. The feet are grey.
Immature birds look like adult, but have duller forehead markings and pale reddish-brown irises.
Similar Species ID: The Red-crowned Parakeet (C. novaezelandiae) has red crown and band from bill to behind eye.
Captive birds have lived up to 10 years.
Yellow-throated Hanging Parrots, also known as Coryllis À Gorge Jaune, or Lorículo De Java
This hanging parrot averages 4.5 inches (12 cm) in length. Its plumage is mostly yellowish-green, with a yellow patch on its throat. The lower back and upper tail-coverts are red. The back has a faint yellowish tinge. The wings are green and the underside of the flight feathers is greenish-blue. The upperside of the tail is green, and the underside is greenish-blue. The bill is pale red with yellowish tips. Theirises are yellowish-white, and the feet are brownish-flesh colored.
Females look similar, except they have a duller yellowish tinge to the back and the throat patch is much smaller.
Young birds have green feathers interspersed on their lower backs. The bill is paler and the irises are brown. Their feet are brownish.