Birdorable Blue-headed Parrot

Today's new Birdorable bird is our 102nd new species of parrot! Welcome the Blue-headed Parrot to our flock!

The Blue-headed Parrot is a medium-sized parrot known for its striking appearance and vibrant lifestyle, primarily found in and around the lush Amazon basin in South America. This region, notable for its rich biodiversity, provides the perfect habitat for these colorful birds.

These parrots have a particular fondness for a variety of fruits, berries, and seeds, which they forage in the dense canopies of the rainforest. Their diet plays a crucial role not only in their nutrition but also in the ecosystem, as they contribute to seed dispersal, aiding in the propagation of various plant species.

They are cavity nesters, preferring the natural hollows found in either living trees or old tree stumps. This choice of nesting site offers protection for their young and is a testament to their adaptability and resourcefulness.

The most striking feature of the Blue-headed Parrot is, undoubtedly, its plumage. The body of these birds is predominantly bright green, providing excellent camouflage among the foliage. This green is beautifully contrasted by the vivid blue coloration on their heads, from which they derive their name. Interestingly, both males and females of the species share this striking color pattern, making them visually indistinguishable from one another.

Blue-headed Parrot by geoff_heal (CC BY 2.0)

Shop for Birdorable Blue-headed Parrot gifts on Amazon, including this Birdorable Blue-headed Parrot Throw Pillow.

Tomorrow we'll add a small species of finch found in sub-Saharan Africa. They have a fiery red plumage and males sport white spots on their flanks. Do you know the species?

Birdorable Pesquet's Parrot

Today's new Birdorable bird is a species that feeds almost exclusively on sticky fig fruits. Today Pesquet's Parrot joins our family!

The Pesquet's Parrot is a large species of parrot found in New Guinea rainforest habitat. These birds are specialist frugivores, feeding mostly on figs. These sticky fruits could get matted in feathers, so the Pesquet's Parrot has developed a strategy to avoid this: they have nearly bald heads! This gives them the nickname "Vulturine Parrot".

Besides their bald heads, Pesquet's Parrots can be identified by their dark plumage, with scallops on the breast, and bright red patches on the belly and wings.

Tomorrow's new species is a warbler-like New World bird with a fruit-like name. This bird has over 40 recognized subspecies! Can you guess the bird?

Cute Pesquet's Parrot Gifts

Birdorable Australian King-Parrot

Today's new Birdorable species is a parrot endemic to Australia, where it is found along the eastern coast. Today we introduce the Birdorable Australian King-Parrot!

Australian King-Parrots display sexual dimorphism -- males and females have different coloration. Our Birdorable cartoon is of a male bird, which has red on the head and chest, with blue-green elsewhere. Females have a similar color palette but the arrangement is different: green at the head, back and chest; red at the belly; and blue at the rump.

Australian King-Parrots are fairly gregarious and can be found flocking with rosella parrots within their range.

Male Australian King Parrot by Mike's Birds (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Female Australian King Parrot by Tatters (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Tomorrow we'll add a duck to Birdorable! The new species is known for its bright feet and beak, and belongs to a family named for the way it sounds! Can you guess the species?

Birdorable Parrot Heart

World Parrot Day is celebrated this year on May 31, 2019. The first World Parrot Day was in 2004.

The event was initiated by the World Parrot Trust as an opportunity to highlight threats to wild and captive parrots around the world. Actions that began on that first World Parrot Day led to the eventual ban of wild bird imports into Europe.

Cute Parrot Heart Gifts

Cute Birdorable Scaly-headed Parrot

Today we wrap up our 2018 Birdorable Bonanza with a species of South American parrot: the Scaly-headed Parrot!

This pretty bird is a medium-sized parrot native to eastern parts of South America, where it can be found in a variety of forest habitats. It is named for the scalloped feathers on its head that look like scales.

Scaly-headed Parrots are one of the most popular species of pet bird, and are thus known by a variety of alternate names, including Scaly-headed Pionus and Maximilian Parrot. They can live to be 40 years old or more when well cared for in captivity.

Thanks for following along during our 10th annual Birdorable Bonanza!

Cute Scaly-headed Parrot Gifts

Our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues today with a parrot that lives Down Under: the Superb Parrot!

Birdorable Superb Parrot

The Superb Parrot is a medium-sized species of parrot endemic to Australia, where it is found in the southeastern states of New South Wales and Victoria. They consume a diet primarily made up of plant material, including seeds, fruits, flowers, pollen, and nectar.

Superb Parrots have a mostly green body plumage. Male birds have yellow across the forehead, face, and neck, which is outlined by red at the top of the breast. They have pretty orange or yellow-orange eyes.

Superb Parrots are found in aviculture, or the pet bird trade, where they are known to live up to 30 years. They are known by other names in aviculture, including Barraband's Parrot, Barraband's Parakeet, and Green Leek Parrot.

Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii)
Superb Parrot by Ron Knight (CC BY 2.0)

The Superb Parrot is our 631st Birdorable bird. Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with a songbird found on both sides of the Pacific Ocean that goes by two common names. Can you guess tomorrow's species?

Birdorable Major Mitchell's Cockatoo

We've recently added the Pink Cockatoo to Birdorable as our 616th species and our 94th parrot species. This pretty bird is also commonly known as the Major Mitchell's Cockatoo.

Parrots are known for their longevity, and one particular famous Major Mitchell's Cockatoo recently celebrated his 82nd hatchday. Cookie is a handsome male bird who has lived at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo since the zoo opened in 1934.

Cookie was hatched on June 30, 1933, in his native Australia. The Guinness Book of Records recognizes Cookie as the oldest living parrot; the average lifespan for Major Mitchell's Cockatoos in captivity is 40-60 years. Cookie has smashed this record by a significant margin.

Here is video of Cookie's latest birthday celebration, which took place at Brookfield Zoo.

Birdorable Male and Female Eclectus Parrots

At first glance you may think that there are two different species of parrot in the above picture, but these are actually two Eclectus Parrots, with a male on the left and female on the right. The technical term for this is "sexual dimorphism", which in birds is often manifested in size or plumage differences. In birds of prey the female is usually bigger, and in ducks the male often has a much more colorful and complicated plumage than the female. With most birds in the parrot family the sexes are similar, but not in the case of the Eclectus Parrot. Males have a bright emerald green plumage and females are mostly bright red with some purple/blue plumage. Even the bill color is different.

The Eclectus Parrot is the most sexually dimorphic of all parrot species. The difference is so pronounced that the first European ornithologists to see Eclectus Parrots in the wild on their visits to South-East Asia and Australia mistakenly thought that they were two distinct species. In fact, males were first described in 1776 and females not until 61 years later. It wasn't until the early 20th century that they were finally considered one species.

Eclectus Parrot 3
Photo by raider of gin (CC BY 2.0)

Cute Eclectus Parrot Gifts

Birdorable Cape Parrot

The third bird in our 2014 Bonanza is a unique species of parrot, the Cape Parrot!

The Cape Parrot is endemic to South Africa. It is typically found in high altitude forest habitat, though it may also visit lowland coastal areas for feeding. Its diet consists of primarily fruits, seeds, and nuts. The Cape Parrot is Critically Endangered, due to habitat loss, persecution, and other factors. The species is particularly susceptible to certain disease outbreaks which takes a toll on the population as well. We can't talk about the Cape Parrot without talking about the closely related Uncape Parrot. The taxonomy of these species and subspecies has been in dispute and the Cape Parrot has only recently been recognized as a separate species. The Uncape Parrot is comprised of two main subspecies, known by the common names Brown-necked Parrot and Grey-headed Parrot. These are not considered threatened or endangered at this time.

_capeBrown-necked Parrot by Alan Manson (CC BY-SA 2.0; modified)

The Cape Parrot and the Uncape Parrot both join Birdorable today, bringing our total number of bird species to 561. Our total number of parrots now stands at a whopping 90 species! Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with a wading bird named for the color of its mug. Can you guess tomorrow's species?

Bonanza2014Preview4

Cute Quilt!

Earlier this year we were asked by quilter Kate C. if she could use our cute Scarlet Macaw illustration as an inspiration for part of a quilt she was making for her granddaughter. We kindly agreed! Kate send us this photo of the macaw in the finished quilt. Isn't that cute?!

Thank you, Kate!