Hooded Parrot (Psephotus dissimilis)

The Hooded Parrot (Psephotus dissimilis) is  found in savannah and open woodland and is one of two extant species in its genus that breed in termite mounds.  In the photos below which I took at Pine Creek you can see the difference between the males and females.  The males have the brilliant turquoise bodies while the females are more subdued light green.

This speckly little cutie is a young male just coming into his adult colouring.

This looks like a juvenile female from the big eyes and subdued colouring.

Hooded Parrots are endemic to Australia’s Northern Territory and most easily seen around Pine Creek and Edith Falls.

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A quick drink

Foraging in the grass.

Birding tour group finds some Hoodies in a termite mound and in trees.

 

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii)

The Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii) also known as Banksian- or Banks’ Black Cockatoo, is a large black cockatoo native to Australia.

Five subspecies are recognised.

C. b. banksii is found in Queensland and, rarely, in far northern New South Wales
C. b. graptogyne, (Endangered) known as the south-eastern red-tailed black cockatoo, is found in southwestern Victoria and southeastern South Australia in an area bordered by Mount Gambier to the west, Portland to the south, Horsham to the northeast and Bordertown to the north
C. b. macrorhynchus, given the name great-billed cockatoo by Mathews; is found across northern Australia.

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C. b. naso (Near Threatened) is known as the forest red-tailed black cockatoo and is found in the southwest corner of Western Australia between Perth and Albany.

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C. b. samueli exists in four scattered populations: in central coastal Western Australia from the Pilbara south to the northern Wheatbelt in the vicinity of Northam, and inland river courses in Central Australia, southwestern Queensland and the upper Darling River system in Western New South Wales. Birds of this subspecies are generally smaller with smaller bills than the nominate banksii.

Good places to spot this gregarious and cheeky cockatoo are:  Along the coast of Western Australia, the Northern Territory south of Darwin, most parks in South-east Queensland.

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Beautiful close-ups of cockatoos foraging and pair bonding.

 

Filmed at Paradise Park, this slo-mo clip shows the bird in flight.

Flock roosting near Cairns

 

 

Puerto Rican Amazon (Amazona vittata)

The Puerto Rican Amazon (Amazona vittata), also known as the Puerto Rican Parrot or Iguaca, is the only bird endemic to the archipelago of Puerto Rico belonging to the Neotropical genus Amazona.

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Although they once could be found throughout Puerto Rico, they are now confined to two main areas – Rio Abajo Forest and El Yunque (green highlights).  I saw these parrots just outside the gate of Rio Abajo Aviary (I was there because I had an appointment).  With less than 100 in the wild (not including breeding population), I was especially honoured to see them!

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These are very informative about the breeding projects to save this critically endangered bird and repopulate the species.

 

Imperial Amazon Parrot (Amazona imperialis)

The Imperial Amazon Parrot (Amazona imperialis), is locally known as the Sisserou,and found only on the Caribbean island of Dominica.  I only caught a glimpse of one and was unable to get a photo so here’s what Wikipedia has – a captive bird and a drawing.

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The Sisserou is proudly featured on the flag of Dominica.

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They have a very small range in the Morne Diablotins (Syndicate) and the Morne Trois Pitons National Parks.  I got my best view through Dr Birdy’s scope at Syndicate.

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We will have to be content with captive birds as no one seems to have filmed them in the wild and posted on Youtube.

 

Red-necked Amazon Parrot (Amazona arausiaca)

The Red-necked Amazon (Amazona arausiaca), also known as the Red-necked Parrot, Dominican Blue-faced Amazon, lesser Dominican Amazon, and Jaco Parrot, is an amazon parrot endemic to Dominica.  I was really lucky to get these shots at the Syndicate.

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They are easiest to see in the Morne Diablotins (Syndicate) and the island overall.  They are much easier to find than the Imperial Amazon.

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This is how they look from the parrot lookout.

And sometimes they come a bit closer as these lucky people found.  You can see how well they camoflage against the leaves – which is good as it protects them from predators.

Saint Vincent Amazon Parrot (Amazona guildingii)

The Saint Vincent Amazon (Amazona guildingii) also known as Saint Vincent Parrot, is a large, approximately 40 cm long, multi-colored amazon parrot with a yellowish white, blue and green head, greenish-bronze upperparts plumage, and violet blue-green wings.

This bird is from the St Vincent Botanical Gardens breeding centre.

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And if you are at the Parrot Lookout, this is what they look like!  Snap fast!img_8030

The Saint Vincent Amazon is endemic to the heavily forested mountains of the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent.  Most birders find them (with patience) at the Vermont Trail Parrot Lookout.

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No one seems to have filmed them in the wild but there are a couple clips from the breeding centre.

 

My Top 66 Bird Sightings of 2016

Whoah, an unprecedented 66 Top Birds!  I knew this was going to blow out when I reached the Top 20 (chronologically) and was still in Ecuador with Colombia, the Caribbean and Australia’s Northern Territory still to come.  I haven’t even included 1/3 the birds who should be on this list otherwise I would be here all day.  This has been an epic year for travel and the birds have been spectacular!  Hummingbirds, Antpittas, Cock-of-the-rock, Finches, Bowerbirds, and of course Parrots everywhere!   This list will be heavily slanted towards Parrots as I chose the birding location based on target species, most of which were parrots.   I’ve tried to focus this list on birds that are highly endangered, unusual, beautiful and/or lifers for me – preferably that I got a decent photo of.  I had extremely bad luck with my Hail Mary photo shot attempts in Colombia so I have to take some license there.  Maybe my camera doesn’t like altitude or cloud forests? Anyway, without further ado, feast your eyes on these beauties!

  1. GREY-CHEEKED PARAKEET – seen at Cerro Blanco, Ecuador

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2.  PACIFIC PARROTLET – seen at Cerro Blanco, Ecuador

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3.  WHITE-BREASTED PARAKEET – seen at Podocarpus, Ecuador

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4. BLUE-NECKED TANAGER – seen at Podocarpus, Ecuador

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5.  EL ORO PARAKEET – seen at Buenaventura, Ecuador

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6.  UMBRELLABIRD – Seen at Buenaventura, Ecuador

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7.  RED-FOOTED BOOBIES – Galapagos, Ecuador

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8.  ANDEAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK – Seen at Mindo, Ecuador

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9.  BOOTED RACKET-TAIL – Seen at Mindo & WildSumaco, Ecuador

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10.  OILBIRD – Seen at Mindo, Ecuador

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11.  BRONZE-WINGED PARROT – Seen at Mindo, Ecuador

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12.  CHOCO TOUCAN  – seen at Mindo, Ecuador

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13.  ROSE-FACED PARROT – Seen at Mindo, Ecuador

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14.  BLACK-HEADED PARROT – Seen at Napo, Ecuador

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15.  HOATZIN – Seen at Napo, Ecuador

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16.  DUSKY-HEADEAD PARAKEET – Seen at Napo, Ecuador

IMG_4255a17 PLUM-THROATED COTINGA – Seen at Napo, Ecuador

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18. WIRE-TAILED MANAKIN – Seen at Napo, Ecuador

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19.  MILITARY MACAW – Seen at WildSumaco, Ecuador  (sorry this was the best I could do)

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20.  WIRE-CRESTED THORNTAIL – Seen at WildSumaco, Ecuador

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21.  MAROON-TAILED PARAKEET – Seen at Wildsumaco, Ecuador

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22.  SAN ISIDRO OWL – Seen at Cabanas San Isidro, Ecuador

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23.  TOURMALINE SUNANGEL – Seen at Guango Lodge, Ecuador & Jardin, Colombia

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24.  SANTA MARTA PARAKEET – Seen at El Dorado, Colombia  (photo from ProAves, I was too far away to get one)

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25.  BLUE-NAPED CHLOROPHONIA – Seen at El Dorado, Colombia

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26.  SCARLET-FRONTED PARAKEET – Seen at El Dorado, Colombia

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27.  MASKED TROGON – Seen at El Dorado, Colombia

dscn287528.  YELLOW-EARED PARROT – Seen at reserve near Jardin, Colombia

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29.  SWORD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD – Seen at finca above Jardin

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30.  ANDEAN MOTMOT – Seen near Jardin, Rio Blanco Reserve and Termales San Vincente, Colombia

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31. GOLDEN PLUMED PARAKEET – Seen at Rio Blanco, Colombia

dscn337632.  CHESTNUT-CROWNED ANTIPITTA (in addition to all the Antpittas) – Seen at Rio Blanco, Colombia

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33. RUSTY-FACED PARROT   – Seen flying over Paramo near Manizales, Colombia, too  fast to get a photo

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34.  RAINBOW-BEARDED THORNBILL – Seen at Termales del Ruiz, Colombia

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35.  FUERTES PARROT – Seen very poorly at a distance near Termales San Vincente, didn’t get a photo.

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36.  BROWN-BREASTED PARAKEET – Seen near BioAndina, Bogota, Colombia

img_670737.  RUBY TOPAZ HUMMINGBIRD – Seen at Yerette, Trinidad

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38.  SCARLET IBIS – Seen at Caroni Bird Sanctuary, Trinidad

img_702039.  GREEN-RUMPED PARROTLET – Seen at Aripo Livestock Station, Trinidad

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40.  TUFTED COQUETTE – Seen at Asa Wright’s, Trinidad

img_7523a41.  BEARDED BELLBIRD – Seen at Asa Wright’s, Trinidad

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42.  ST LUCIA AMAZON PARROT – Seen at Des Cartiers Trail, St Lucia

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43.  PURPLE THROATED CARIB HUMMINGBIRD – Seen in St Lucia & St Vincent

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44.  ST VINCENT AMAZON PARROT – Seen on Vermont Trail, St Vincent

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45.  IMPERIAL AMAZON PARROT (SISSEROU) – Seen at Syndicate Trail, he’s in here somewhere!)

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46.  ANTILLEAN CRESTED HUMMINGBIRD – Seen at Syndicate Trail, Dominicaimg_8077

47.  RED-NECKED PARROT (JACO) – Seen at Syndicate Trail, Dominica

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48.  PUERTO RICAN PARROT – Seen at Rio Abajo, Puerto Rico

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49.  PUERTO RICAN TODY – Seen at El Yunque, Puerto Rico

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50.  RAINBOW PITTA – Howard Springs, Darwin, Australia

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51.  RED-TAILED BLACK COCKATOO (BANKSII) – Everywhere Northern Territory, Australia

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52.  ROSE-CROWNED FRUIT DOVE – Seen at Howard Springs, Darwin, Australia

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53.  RED-COLLARED LORIKEETS – Seen everywhere, Northern Territory, Australia

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54.    HOODED PARROT– Seen at Pine Creek, Australia

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55.  DOUBLE-BARRED FINCH – Seen at Edith Falls, Australia

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56.  PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY WREN – Seen (at a distance) near Victoria River Crossing, Australia

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57.  BLUE-WINGED KOOKABURRA – Seen at Nitmiluk National Park, Australia

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58.  GREAT BOWERBIRD – Seen at Katherine (Museum grounds), Australia

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59.  NORTHERN ROSELLA – Seen in Katherine, Australia

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60.  VARIED LORIKEET – Seen at Donkey Camp Weir, Katherine, Australia

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61 GOULDIAN FINCHES (MOSTLY JUVENILES) – Seen at Edith Falls Road, NT, Australia

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62.  AZURE KINGFISHER – Seen at Kakadu NP, Australia

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63.  WHITE-BELLIED SEA EAGLE – Seen at Kakadu NP, Australia

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64.  LITTLE KINGFISHER – Seen at Kakadu NP, Australia

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65.  COMB-CRESTED JACANA – Seen at Kakadu NP, Australia

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66.  EMERALD DOVE – Seen in Darwin, Australia

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Saint Lucia Amazon Parrot (Amazona versicolor)

The Saint Lucia Amazon (Amazona versicolor) also known as the Saint Lucia Parrot is a species of parrot in the family Psittacidae. It is endemic to Saint Lucia and is the country’s national bird.

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I did my best to get photos of them as they flew by in pairs but it was hard to focus on them against the green background but at least I got the colours!img_7870a img_7860a img_7861a

This beautiful St Lucia endemic is most easily seen at Des Cartiers Trail in St Lucia.

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How lucky to get this close to one!

Conservation efforts to save the parrots.

Green-rumped Parrotlet (Forpus passerinus)

The Green-rumped Parrotlet (Forpus passerinus) is a small Neotropical parrot. It is one of seven species in the genus Forpus and is found in Northeastern South America.

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They are found in Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, northern Brazil and the Caribbean island of Trinidad.  I was lucky enough to spot a few at Aripo Livestock Station in Trinidad.

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These tiny little beauties can be hard to spot, look how they lend in with the trees!

 

Orange-winged Amazon Parrot (Amazona amazonica)

The Orange-winged Amazon (Amazona amazonica), also known locally as Orange-winged Parrot, Curica and Loro Guaro, is a large amazon parrot. Its habitat is forest and semi-open country.  I took these photos in Nariva Swamp.

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They have a huge range from Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago south to Peru, Bolivia and central Brazil.  I have seen them in the Pantanal, on Parrot Island near Belem and Nariva Swamp in Trinidad.

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I had to wade through a lot of pet bird videos to find these wild birds!