Matomo-Image-Tracker Psittaciformes - Pyrilia - Vulturine Parrot


Vulturine Parrot - Pyrilia Vulturina - Vulnerable

The vulturine parrot (Pyrilia vulturina), not to be confused with Pesquet's parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus), is a Neotropical parrot, which is endemic to humid forest and adjacent habitats in the eastern Amazon of Brazil.

Taxonomy: Until recently, it was placed in the genus Pionopsitta, which now is restricted to the type species, P. pileata. Furthermore, individuals previously believed to be immature vulturine parrots were described as a new species, the bald parrot (Pyrilia aurantiocephala), in 2002.

Description: The vulturine parrot has a total length of c. 24 centimetres (9.4 in). It has a rather short, squarish tail, and a mainly green plumage, which typically is tinged blue, especially below. The chest is olive-brown. The underwing coverts are bright red, and when perched this can be hinted as an orange-red shoulder-patch. The under-tail is yellowish with a bluish tip (appears dark against light). The outer webs and tips of the remiges are bluish-black, making the outer sections of the upperwing appear quite uniformly dark in flight. The arguably most conspicuous feature, however, is its un-feathered blackish and orange-pinkish head, bordered by a broad yellow collar of feathers, followed by a second blackish collar. This bare, vaguely vulture-like head is the reason behind its common name. Juveniles have a feathered greenish head.

Little is known about its behavior, but it is suspected the bare head is an adaptation to avoid feather-matting from sticky fruits. It has also been recorded feeding on seeds and berries.

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Page last updated: 12/24/23

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