Geelvink Pygmy Parrot (Micropsitta geelvinkiana)

Geelvink Pygmy Parrot

Geelvink Pygmy Parrot

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Micropsitta geelvinkiana | [authority] Schlegel, 1871 | [UK] Geelvink Pygmy Parrot | [FR] Micropsitte de Geelvink | [DE] Geelvink-Spechtpapagei | [ES] Microloro de Geelvink | [NL] Biakspechtpapegaai | [copyright picture] Mehd Halaouate


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Micropsitta geelvinkiana AU islands n of New Guinea
Micropsitta geelvinkiana geelvinkiana Numfor I. (Geelvink Bay)
Micropsitta geelvinkiana misoriensis Biak I. (Geelvink Bay)


The pygmy parrots of the subfamily Micropsittinae all belong to the genus Micropsitta. The six species are endemic to New Guinea and nearby islands. Pygmy parrots are the smallest members of the parrot family. Pygmy parrots are tiny birds: fast-moving, mostly green with bright highlights. A pygmy parrot spends a good deal of time climbing through foliage, using its large feet and beak, and stiffened tail feathers.

Physical charateristics

M.g. geelvinkiana: male-green underwing coverts; deep grey/brown forehead, lores to cheeks and ear coverts, the cheek feathers margined with dark blue; deep purple/blue crown to eyes, bordered on occiput by varying yellow patch; blue throat to sides of foreneck; orange/yellow centre of breast and abdomen; blue central tail feathers, with green/black lateral feathers. Bill grey. Eye brown/red. Female-paler grey/brown face and forecheeks, with green hindcheeks and ear coverts; yellow patch on occiput absent; green/yellow underparts. M.g. misoriensis: male-dark grey/brown head, with blue line bordering on hindneck; yellow mark on nape. Female-as in male, but yellow on nape absent; crown feathers faintly margined with blue.

Listen to the sound of Geelvink Pygmy Parrot

[audio: Pygmy Parrot.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by George Wagner

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Australasia : islands North of New Guinea. Micropsitta geelvinkiana is endemic to the twin islands of Biak-Supiori and Numfor off Papua, Indonesia


It occurs in forest, secondary forest and forest gardens, up to at least 400 m, this species tolerates highly degraded habitats. Found up to 300m (9840 ft) in lowland forest, secondary growth forest, open cultivated areas with isolated trees and gardens.


Breeding period probably from June to August; nestlings at least found in mid-June and end of August; nests in arboreal termite mounds, often only few metres from ground; in one case even at 2 m (6 ft) in dead tree; entrance in lower part of mound; from here a narrow tunnel led round a bend to oval chamber 12 cm (5 ins) across and 7 cm (3 ins) high above entrance; nest lined with thin layer of dust from termite mound; it contained egg shell remains, a few feathers and two almost fully feathered young, which were however at different stages of development; during fledging period adults remained near nest; responded immediately to calls from young; these calls audible for some distance; adults fly first to certain branches to ensure no danger before entering nest; otherwise female visited nest every two hours.

Feeding habits

Probably lichen, fungi, seeds, flowers, fruits and insects and their larvae.


This diminutive parrot is thought to have a moderately small population, and although trends are unclear it is suspected to be declining owing to habitat loss. It is therefore classified as Near Threatened.
On Biak and Numfor, forest is under heavy threat from logging and subsistence farming, but there appears to be large areas of forest remaining in interior Supiori
Geelvink Pygmy Parrot status Near Threatened



Distribution map

Geelvink Pygmy Parrot distribution range map

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