Hanging Parrots General Info and Species Listing … Photos of the Various Hanging Parrot Species for Identification
The Sri Lanka (Loriculus beryllinus) – formerly known as Ceylon Hanging Parrot – is a brilliantly colored small parrot that is endemic, and relatively common, in Sri Lanka (previously known as Ceylon – before 1972). It tends to inhabit the hills up to about 4,200 ft (1,250 m), but it can also be found in the plantations of low-country wet zone and urban gardens. This parrot moves around within its range, driven mainly by the availability of food. Sri Lanka Hanging Parrots are parrots of open forest and are strictly arboreal, never descending to the ground.
Outside the breeding season, they can usually be seen in pairs or small family groups and, occasionally, large flocks can be found foraging in favored feeding areas.
These are fairly active parrots, often climbing around in branches or hanging upside down to reach some fruits and flowers to feed on. They are well camouflaged by their plumage; and yet they are not shy when feeding. In fact, they are said to be quite approachable.
This parrot averages 5 inches (13 to 14 cm) in length and has a short tail.
The plumage is mainly green with a short tail. Adult birds have a bright red crown and bill, and deep-red rump. There is an orange tint to theirback and nape. The breast and abdomen are a paler green. The lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird’s head) and cheeks are tinged with blue. There is a distinctive blue throat patch to the throat. Theforehead, crown, rump, and upper tail-coverts are red. The wings are a darker green. The underside of the flight feathers and tail are greenish-blue. The bill is orange-red with yellowish tips. The irises are yellowish-white and the feet are flesh-colored.
Sexes alike but the female has an overall duller plumage and a paler blue throat patch.
Young birds that have not reached sexual maturity yet have dull green foreheads and they lack the orange hue to the back. The crown is green tinged with orange and the rump is interspersed with green feathers. Their back is green. The bill is paler than that of the adults. The irises are brown and their feet are brownish.
These hanging parrots are occasionally confused with the female of some Philippine Hanging Parrots (Loriculus philippensis) sub-species, as they also have a red crown and blue to the cheeks. However, a clear distinction can be made by the color, which is brown in the female Philippine Hanging Parrot.
Call / Song:
Even though they are not known to be noisy, their calls are sharp and shrill. Its call consists of a sharp whistled twit-twit-twit during flight; usually rapidly repeated.
Their natural diet consists mainly of fruits – particularly wild figs, guava and berries – as well as flower buds and blossoms. (Erythrina, Salmalia and Eucalyptus). They also feed onnectar and seeds.
Captive specimens should be provided lory nectar, as well as plenty of fruit (fig, pear, apple, banana) and vegetables (carrot, spinach, green salad). They should also be fed a good quality seed mix consisting of various millets, canary grass seed, some niger and oats, and millet sprays (both sprouted and unsprouted).
During the rearing season, it’s important to provide them with plenty of soft food items, includingsoftened rusk, eggfood and mealworm larvae.
The first breeding season commences in January and lasts until April; and – providing conditions are right — breeding activities can again be observed from July to September.
During the course of the courtship display, the male approaches female with short strutting steps and little hops and makes warbling sounds, extending his neck to show off his blue throat patch, raising his red rump and spreading his tail feathers.
They nest in dead tree stumps or trees, favoring long, narrow hollows with small entrance holes. The female is seen carrying nesting material that may include pieces of bark and leaves in her rump feathers into the nest for nest lining. A clutch may consist of 2 to 4 white eggs. Only the female incubates the eggs for 20 days while the male feeds her. Each eggs measures 0.06 to 0.07 inches (~15 mm to 18.7 mm). The young fledge when they are about32 days old, and they are independent 10 days after fledging.
Captive breeding may not have been achieved yet, except one hybrid breeding with a Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot (Loriculus galgulus).
These are fairly quiet parrots, with a pleasant personality. Newly imported birds have been found to susceptible to fungal infections and special care should be taken during the adjustment period. Strict hygiene is necessary and daily spraying during the acclimatization period is advised. Once acclimatized, this species is quite hardy. They do fine in a colony environments with other hanging parrots. They should be provided a regular supply of branches (willow, elder). They need to have a roosting box available at all times.
These active little parrots need plenty of room for exercising. Ideally, they should be kept in a spacious and well-planted aviary with minimum dimensions of 6 x 3 x 6 ft (2 x 1 x 2m). A spacious cage with daily opportunities for flight is acceptable, although not ideal.
They need to be protected from temperatures below 59°F(15 °C) and newly imported birds should be kept at temperatures of 70°F (22°C) or warmer.
- Please refer to this webpage for additional information on housing and breeding your hanging parrots.
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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