The Scary Parrot’s head is of a vulture, the body is of a parrot, and from beak to tail is the size of a small child. This is the Dracula Parrot.
This bird is also called the Pesquet’s parrot or the vulturine parrot. You can find the bird only in the cloud forests in the foothills and lower mountains of New Guinea.
It’s brightly colored scarlet plumage which contrasts perfectly with its dusty grey chest; back and tail are some striking characteristics of this majestic bird.
A full grown Dracula parrot will reach a body size of 18 inches which is nearly a meter from beak to tip of the tail.
It is called a Dracula parrot because of a few reasons. Being its terrifying call is one reason. The parrots.org said that it sounds “harsh and rasping; also described as growling. Also drawn out scream given frequently in flight.”
This bird is a highly specialised frugivore, feeding almost exclusively on a few species of figs. This is also one of three parrots with bare (featherless) faces. It has evolved this way in order to avoid feathers becoming matted with the fruit pulp the parrot feeds on.
You may have not heard about this bird as their numbers are considerably low. According to Red List, it looks like they are nearly endangered.
It is reported that there are only between 20k to 49k mature parrots left, and their population is rapidly decreasing.
They are under significant hunting pressure for their feathers. Their environment is also being invaded by humans.
Red List said, “Hunting for feathers has increased with population growth. Current rates of decline due to hunting are uncertain but could be relatively minor, and the species appears secure in large areas of suitable habitat in central and western mainland Papua New Guinea, much of which occurs in rugged terrain in areas with a low human population density.”
The parrots live longer and better lives, with less people around.
We are only learning about a few species and plenty more we haven’t even discovered yet. We have to do our best to keep this planet and all its inhabitants safe for generations to follow.