Grey-headed Parrot (Poicephalus fuscicollis suahelicus)

It seems every time I turn around this bird has a new taxonomy, my head is spinning!  The Brown-necked Parrot (Poicephalus fuscicollis) is a large Poicephalus parrot species endemic to Africa consisting of the savanna-dwelling brown-necked parrot (P. fuscicollis fuscicollis) and grey-headed parrot (P. f. suahelicus) subspecies. It formerly included the Cape parrot (now Poicephalus robustus) as a subspecies before the Cape parrot was re-classified as a distinct species.  Birdlife has the most recent explanation.

These guys are hard to find but if you are lucky you may get a glimpse of them flying overhead to their roosting sites on a Zambezi River cruise.  I did see a couple in the distance but didn’t get a photo so here’s Wikipedia’s pic.

The Birdlife distribution map has all 3 Poicephalus species – Cape, Brown-necked and Grey-headed Parrots.  The Grey-headed Parrots (suahelicus) are in the yellow shaded area with the Zambezi River indicated by the dot.  The easiest access is from Livingstone, Zambia.  We did the Lady Livingstone cruise and birders tend to congregate in the top level near the rear.  One of the staff is an experienced birder (I didn’t get his name but he will notice your camera and binoculars and offer to help) so just ask him to help you find these parrots.  He knows them by their calls.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GREY-HEADED PARROTS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

Avibase

The Flacks Photography (nice photos of wild birds)

VIDEO

You think it’s hard to get a photo of these guys in the wild, try looking for videos!

 

Yellow-fronted Parrot (Poicephalus flavifrons)

The Yellow-fronted Parrot (Poicephalus flavifrons) is endemic to the Ethiopian Highlands.  It is a mostly green parrot with a yellow head. Although this bird was one of my main targets for my Ethiopian birding trip, all I could manage was some furtive birds calling from distant trees so I will have to share the Wikipedia photos.

The easiest places to search for this bird are around Lake Langano, Wondo Genet and Menagesha Forest in Ethiopia.

LEARN MORE ABOUT YELLOW-FRONTED PARROTS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

VIDEO

Hardly anything on Youtube but at least I found this one of a hungry Yellow-fronted Parrot!  Looks like someone was lucky enough to get close to one!

 

Black-winged Lovebird (Agapornis taranta)

The Black-winged Lovebird (Agapornis taranta) also known as Abyssinian Lovebird is the largest of the lovebird genus, a group of small parrots. The adult male is easily identified by its red forehead, and the adult female by its all green head.

They are only found in Ethiopia and Eritrea.  Good places to look for them are Hara Langano Lodge, Menagesha Forest & even the city of Addis Ababa in flowering trees.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BLACK-WINGED LOVEBIRDS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

VIDEOS

I couldn’t find much on wild birds on Youtube but if you search “Abyssinian Lovebirds” there are lots of pet birds.

Red-headed Lovebird (Agapornis pullarius)

The Red-headed Lovebird (Agapornis pullarius) also known as the Red-faced Lovebird is a member of the genus Agapornis, a group commonly known as lovebirds. Like other lovebirds it is native to Africa.  Although I have seen them in foliage in both Accra and Entebbe, I wasn’t able to get a photo so I will have to use Wikipedia’s.  I don’t know why these beauties are so bashful but at least it’s not me as I couldn’t find many other pics or videos of them in the wild.

Their range covers a swathe through central Africa but only Ghana and Uganda are easy to get to for eco-tourists on a budget.  I got glimpses of them in Accra and Entebbe Botanical Gardens.

LEARN MORE ABOUT RED-HEADED LOVEBIRDS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

VIDEOS

Once again, I had a hard time tracking down clips of wild birds on Youtube.  This is an older one.

And a close up of captive birds just to show the gorgeous colours.

 

Blue-naped Parrot (Tanygnathus lucionensis)

The Blue-naped Parrot (Tanygnathus lucionensis), also known as the Blue-crowned Green Parrot, Luzon Parrot, the Philippine Green Parrot, and locally known as Pikoy, is a parrot found throughout the Philippines.

I was only able to get these photos at the Puerto Princesa Conservation Centre.

They are found throughout the Philippines.  I saw a pair streaking overhead near Sabang, Palawan.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BLUE-NAPED PARROTS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

VIDEOS

Gorgeous Mom & baby

 

My clip at the Conservation Centre.

Red-vented Cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia)

The Red-vented Cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia) sometimes called the Philippine Cockatoo, Katala or Kalangay, is a critically endangered species of cockatoo that is endemic to the Philippines.

Although they were once found all over the Philippines, their range is now extremely limited and these are the rarest cockatoos in the world.  The best place to see them is on Rasa Island, Palawan.

LEARN MORE ABOUT PHILIPPINE COCKATOOS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

Katala Foundation

VIDEOS

This is a professionally filmed and edited video made for the Loro Parque Foundation by Peter Odekerken in March 2013.

And my own low-budget home-made version.

30 Parrots I May Not Be Able To Add To My Lifelist & Why

Many birders keep a Lifelist of all the birds they have seen in their lifetime and set challenges to see certain birds or reach a specified numerical target.  I was never a Lifelist keeper until I joined eBird and I was primarily targeting parrot species so I didn’t keep track of other birds I had seen until fairly recently.  There are around 10,000 species of birds in the world and I have logged 1322 on eBird.  Of those 1322, 177 are parrots.  There are around 390 species and subspecies of parrots depending on whose classifications you are looking at so I am closing in on half the parrot species of the world though I haven’t really reconciled my Lifelist which goes back to 2007 with the latest taxonomy.

Anyway, there are at least 30 species which I may not be able to see due to several reasons such as being endemic in a dangerous country or remote island or simply being too expensive for me to get to as my miles balance runs down.  Here’s the list.

  1.  Stephen’s Lorikeet – remote on Pitcairn Island
  2.   Sula Hanging Parrot – difficult to reach
  3.   Meek’s Pygmt Parrot – difficult to reach
  4.   Blue-wnged Racket-tail – difficult to reach
  5.   Nicobar Parakeet – difficult to reach
  6.  Antipodean Green Parrot – difficult to reach, remote NZ island
  7.  Night Parrot – tiny population in QLD in restricted access area (not allowed to go there)
  8.  Niam-Niam Parrot – dangerous location in Congo
  9.  Socorro Parakeet – remote island off Mexico
  10.  Thick-billed Parrot – lives in area frequented by drug cartels in Mexico
  11.  Red-eared Parakeet – endemic to Venezuela which is too dangerous to travel in
  12.  Emma’s Parakeet – another Venezuela endemic
  13.  Rose-crowned Parakeet – another Venezuela endemic
  14. Pacific Parakeet – found in Nicaragua, not sure I can get there due miles running out
  15. Red-throated Parakeet – another Nicaraguan
  16. Azuero Parakeet – remote area of Panama
  17. Cuban Parakeet – theoretically possible in Cuba but lack of miles
  18. Hispaniolan Parakeet – theoretically possible in Haiti or Dominican Republic but lack of miles
  19.  Hispaniolan Amazon – theoretically possible in Haiti or Dominican Republic but lack of miles
  20.  Deville’s Parakeet – found in Tefe, Brazil, expensive to reach
  21. Vulturine Parrot – possible in Brazil but found in remote areas
  22. Bald Parrot – found near Rio Azul, Brazil, expensive to reach
  23. Red-fronted Parrot – dipped in Ecuador, no plans to return
  24. Spectacled Parrotlet – dipped in Ecuador & Colombia, no plans to return
  25. Spot-winged Parrotlet – dipped in Ecuador & Colombia, no plans to return
  26. Blue-fronted Parrotlet – dipped in Ecuador & Colombia, no plans to return
  27. Red-fronted Parrotlet – dipped in Panama, no plans to return
  28. Saffron-headed Parrot – dipped in Colombia, also found in Venezuela but can’t get there
  29. Sinu Parakeet – remote Colombian endemic, possibly extinct as no sightings in years
  30. Perija Parakeet – remote Colombian endemic, possibly extinct as no sightings in years

So I have had a chance at some of these parrots, mostly the parrotlets but was unable to find them.  Some of them would be possible if the country was safer to visit, some would be possible if I had more money and/or airline miles!

I do have a lot of other possible parrots in trips I have planned over the next few years as I burn the remainder of my miles and do some cheaper trips from Australia to Asian countries.  I would like to get at least 300 parrot species and over 2000 bird species so that’s 20% of the total in the world!

Northern Rosella (Platycercus venustus)

The Northern Rosella (Platycercus venustus), also known as Brown’s Parakeet or Smutty Rosella (Huh?), is found in Australia’s Top End. It is found in open savannah country throughout the Gulf of Carpentaria and Arnhem Land to the Kimberley.

It was first described by German naturalist Heinrich Kuhl.  The specific epithet is derived from the Latin venustus “charming, lovely or graceful”.  (That’s more like it!)

This lovely, graceful bird was seen near the Katherine Hot Springs innocently having dinner and not acting smutty in the least!

They have a large range from the Kimberley in WA across the Northern Territory’s Top End to far north-west Queensland.  I saw one quite well in Katherine and some others streaking past at Copperfield Dam near Pine Creek.  They are also seen regularly in some parts of Kakadu.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NORTHERN ROSELLAS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

Birds in Backyards

VIDEOS

Surprisingly, there isn’t much on wild birds but I did find this short clip of a pair foraging in the grass.

 

Varied Lorikeet (Psitteuteles versicolor)

The Varied Lorikeet (Psitteuteles versicolor) is a cute and colourful species of parrot in the family Psittacidae. It is endemic to northern Australia.  Unbelieveably, I stumbled across a small flock at Donkey Camp Weir near Katherine!

The Varied Lorikeet lives in tropical eucalypt forests, wetland and grassland areas in northern Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia.  They are highly nomadic so it’s a matter of luck, but you can see where I got lucky at Donkey Camp Weir.

LEARN MORE ABOUT VARIED LORIKEETS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

VIDEOS

Stunning close-up to show off their beauty.

Look for them in flowering gum trees like this one.

 

Red-collared Lorikeet (Trichoglossus rubritorquis)

The Red-collared Lorikeet (Trichoglossus rubritorquis) was previously considered a subspecies of the rainbow lorikeet, but today most major authorities consider them as separate species.  They have become world famous for their drunken antics which sounds like it could be funny but really isn’t as it exposes them to predators.

They are easily found within their range, especailly in Australia’s Northern Territory and are very noisy so you can’t miss them!  I saw them around the Darwin area, Pine Creek, Edith Falls, Katherine, Outback Northern Territory, Nitmikuk and Kakadu.

LEARN MORE ABOUT RED-COLLARED LORIKEETS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

About Drunk Lorikeets

VIDEOS

Lets start with some sober parrots foraging as usual.

 

And here’s a story about the drunk lorikeets.