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Species Guide

Pesquet's Parrot

Psittrichas fulgidus

The Pesquet's parrot, also known as the Dracula parrot, is a striking avian species with a total length of approximately 46 cm (18 in) and a weight ranging from 680 to 800 grams (24–28 oz). Its plumage is predominantly black, accented with greyish scaling on the chest. A vibrant red adorns the belly, uppertail coverts, and wing-panels, adding a splash of color to its otherwise somber appearance. The adult male is distinguished by a red spot behind the eye, absent in the adult female. This parrot's small-headed silhouette, bare black facial skin, and elongated, hooked bill lend it a vulture-like profile, hence its alternative common name.

Identification Tips

To identify the Pesquet's parrot, look for its unique combination of features: the black plumage with grey scaling, the red belly and wing accents, and the red spot behind the male's eye. Its vulture-like appearance, with a small head and long bill, is also distinctive.


This parrot is endemic to the hill and montane rainforests of New Guinea, where it thrives in the lush, verdant canopy.


Pesquet's parrot is a highly specialized frugivore, feeding almost exclusively on a select few species of figs, with occasional indulgence in flowers and nectar. It exhibits seasonal nomadism, moving in response to fruit availability. The bare facial skin is thought to be an adaptation to prevent feather matting from the sticky fruits it consumes. Typically, this parrot is observed in pairs or small groups of up to 20 individuals. In flight, it is characterized by rapid flapping interspersed with short glides.


While details of its breeding habits in the wild remain elusive, it is known to lay two eggs in a nest within a large, hollow tree.

Conservation status

The Pesquet's parrot faces threats from overhunting, driven by the high demand for its feathers and its value in aviculture. Habitat loss further exacerbates its vulnerability. Consequently, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and is included on Appendix II of CITES.

Similar Species

There are no similar species within its range, making the Pesquet's parrot quite distinctive in its natural habitat.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Pesquet's parrot is highly specialized, consisting predominantly of figs, supplemented by occasional flowers and nectar. Its feeding habits are closely tied to the fruiting cycles of these trees.

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Pesquet's Parrots on Birda

A map showing the sighting location
Jamie BT
01 Jan 1900 - 12:00am
Papua New Guinea

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