Pesquets Parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus)

Pesquets Parrot

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Psittrichas fulgidus | [authority] Lesson, 1830 | [UK] Pesquets Parrot | [FR] Psittrichas de Pesquet | [DE] Borstenkopf | [ES] Loro Aguileno | [NL] Borstelkoppapegaai | [copyright picture] Birdlife


Monotypic species


Pesquet’s Parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus) also known as the Vulturine Parrot (leading to easy confusion with Pyrilia vulturina from Brazil), is the only member of its genus, and its genus is the only member of the tribe Psittrichadini. It is endemic to hill and montane rainforest in New Guinea.

Physical charateristics

Red-and-black parrot. Bright crimson belly, inner wings and uppertail-coverts, breast scaled with grey. Alternative name “Vulturine Parrot” derives from naked head and long, hooked bill. Palm Cockatoo Probosciger aterrimus uniformly blackish-grey with small pink face patch and very heavy bill. Female Eclectus Parrot Eclectus roratus has bright red head and blue body. Crows Corvus spp. are all-black with straighter bills.

Listen to the sound of Pesquets Parrot

[audio: Parrot.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Iain Woxvold

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 46 cm size max.: 50 cm
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Australasia : New Guinea. Psittrichas fulgidus is patchily distributed across New Guinea (Papua, formerly Irian Jaya, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea). It has been historically and recently extirpated from large areas, especially in Papua New Guinea. It is generally rare and seen in small numbers, and has shown recent rapid declines in some areas such as Ok Tedi. The only population estimate is based on two pairs inhabiting 14 km2 at Crater Mountain. Extrapolation suggests a total population of 21,000 pairs. However, this may be an overestimate as the Crater Mountain birds sometimes foraged elsewhere, the species is atypically common at this site and is absent from many hunted areas. Conversely, it may be an underestimate by not accounting for substantial populations at lower altitudes.


It is restricted to hill and lower montane forest. At lower altitudes it appears to occur only in hills and at the base of mountains.


Little is known about its breeding habits in the wild, but the two eggs are laid in a nest in a large, hollow tree.

Feeding habits

It is an extremely specialised frugivore, feeding only on a very few species of fig. Feeds mainly on soft pulp of figs (Ficus), mangoes (Mangifera indica) and large flowers of Freycinetia mangopandans.

Video Pesquets Parrot


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


Tthis species is classified as Vulnerable as it is suspected to be undergoing a rapid population decline over three generations (60 years) owing to hunting for feathers.
The major threat is hunting for feathers and for cage-bird trade and meat. Nestlings are captured by felling trees or enlarging nest-cavities, and the scarcity of suitable nestsites could become a limiting factor.
Pesquets Parrot status Vulnerable



Distribution map

Pesquets Parrot distribution range map

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