Meet Pesquet's, The Gorgeous Dracula Parrot!

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Meet Pesquet, The Gorgeous Dracula Parrot

Named the Dracula parrot by some due to its vampiresque demeanour and the way its feathers look like Count Dracula’s cape, the Pesquet’s Parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus) is a native of New Guinea - a large island made up partly of Indonesian territory and Papua New Guinea.

This mesmerising bird makes its home in the forests of the lower foothills of the island and has long been admired by the native people who use its feathers, sparingly, in traditional headdresses. The medium-sized Pesquet's, measures around 20 inches tall, weighs between 600 and 800 grams and is often described as vulture like due to the shape of its neck and beak. While it may not be the most typical kind of parrot, it sure is uniquely gorgeous.


A post shared by Devin Howard (@devin19xxhoward) on


Two things really make it stand out from the crowd – aside from its Dracula/vulture appearance. One is its call, which sounds like a harsh-growl in flight and a drawn-out scream while sedentary at night – really playing up to its creepy image. Two, is the comparative lack of hair around the bird’s eyes and beak – which researchers believe may have evolved due to the parrot’s diet. You see, the parrot feasts mostly on mangoes and other sticky fruits, which means feathers round the eyes and beak would have ended up sticky and matted.


Matt Cameron, a parrot expert on pondering this suggestion said:
“If avoiding soiled and matted head feathers is a significant advantage to individuals, it is surprising that bald-headedness is not more widespread among the other fruit-eating parrots.”


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The New Guinean birds travel in very small groups or even as a loving pair, which does, in spite of their looks and creepy calls, show them to be caring creatures, with the couple usually having just two eggs per year which they bring up together in their forest home. In fact, the only way you can tell the difference between the male and female is that the males have a red patch behind the eyes – otherwise apart from a slight difference in size they are almost indistinguishable.


Pesquet’s parrot is the only member of the Psittrichasinae subfamily of Indian Ocean island parrots making it a unique ‘one of a kind’ among the parrot species of the world. As with many of our world’s animals habitat erosion, hunting for meat, and capture for the exotic animal trade have left the birds facing an extinction threat.


It is certainly sad to see these great creatures in demise, especially as so few people have even heard of them – so next time you are in the New Guinea forest just listen out for a rasping-howl, look up, and you might just see the Dracula parrot.

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Thinking Humanity: Meet Pesquet's, The Gorgeous Dracula Parrot!
Meet Pesquet's, The Gorgeous Dracula Parrot!
Named the Dracula parrot by some due to its vampiresque demeanour and the way its feathers look like Count Dracula’s cape, the Pesquet’s Parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus) is a native of New Guinea - a large island made up partly of Indonesian territory and Papua New Guinea. This mesmerising bird makes its home in the forests of the lower foothills of the island and has long been admired by the native people who use its feathers, sparingly, in traditional headdresses.
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