Blue-naped Parrot

Blue-naped Parrot

Scientific Name: Tanygnathus lucionensis
Origin: Philippines
Average Lifespan: 40 years or more
Size: 12 inches
Color: Primarily Green
Sounds: Loud harsh sounds
Interaction: Social

Blue-naped parrot

Photo: markaharper1 | Flickr

Physical Characteristics of Blue-naped Parrot

The Blue-naped parrot is a medium sized parrot of about 12 inches and is also called Philippine green parrot, Luzon parrot, and locally known as pikoy in the Philippines where it is endemic. There are also Blue-naped parrots in Sabah, Malaysia and Indonesia. It derived its most common name from the distinctive bright blue color at the back of its head down to its nape which differs from the mostly green plumage. It has red bill and grey feet, and with shades of blue in the lower back feathers.

There are three subspecies; Blue-naped parrots (T.I. lucionensis) found in Luzon, Salomonsen’s Blue-naped parrots (T.I. hybridus) found in Polilio Island and other northern Philippine islands, and Talaud / Talautese Blue-naped parrots (T.I. talautensis) which are found in Talaud Islands in Indonesia and southern Philippine Islands.

Personality and Temperament

The Blue-naped parrots produce moderate noise level compared to other parrots of its size but are known to be very active and intelligent which makes them easy to be taught to talk and perform tricks. They spend most of their time playing, so, as pets, they need a lot of attention, a wide space, and lots of toys. The male Blue-naped is observed to be more interested in learning to talk.

During mating season, female aggression sets in with most female Blue-naped parrots which is paired with a male. This is a natural hormonal change which cannot be prevented but maybe controlled with several factors such as giving proper diet, decreasing the amount of daylight to allow the bird to rest more, providing bigger cage, training it to be less aggressive, among other things.

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Health and Care

Pet Blue-naped parrots need to be fed with fruits similar to what they would eat in the wild like mangoes, bananas, and good variety of nuts. They require plenty of water, for drinking and also for bathing. Breeders say not to feed them with avocado or chocolates as these are believed to be poisonous to parrots.

As pets, Blue-naped parrots are prone to accidents because of their hyperactivity and curiosity which often makes them careless. While in the wild, the biggest threats are habitat loss due to deforestation, and trapping for trading purposes.

Blue-naped parrots kept as pets live very long lives of up to 60 years (or more) and could outlive their owners. So before deciding to keep one as pet, there must be a long term plan of keeping it as part of the family.

History and Background

Blue-naped parrots is the smallest of the parrots that belong to the genus Tanygnathus, which include the Great-billed parrot, the blue-backed parrot, and the black-lored parrot. Lucionensis which is the scientific name of the Blue-naped parrot is derived from the place where its population is most abundant – the island of Luzon in the Philippines.

In the Philippines, poaching and the continuing degradation of their natural habitat results to their declining population. Large population can now only be found in Palawan and Mindoro.

In their natural habitat, Blue-naped parrots are often in flocks of about a dozen birds. They are frequently seen on top of remnant trees, in secondary forest, forest edges, and coconut plantations. They forage on tropical fruits and nuts at daytime. The breeding season is during summer (April to June) and they nest on tree holes and lay a clutch of two to three eggs which they incubate for about 25 days. Fledging age is about nine weeks from hatching.

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The Blue-naped parrots presently belong to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and assessed as Near Threatened (NT) because of the observed small and fragmented population caused mainly by trapping and forest loss. But its current listing of is actually an improvement as back in 1994 and 1996 Red List, it was considered as Endangered (EN).

It is also included in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and included in Appendix II, the list of species which trade is being controlled to avoid illegal trade that could affect their existence. This is a precautionary measure to ensure that these playful talking birds survive.

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