Great Billed Parrot

Great Billed Parrot

Scientific Name: Tanygnathus megalorynchos
Origin: Solomon Island
Average Lifespan: 10 t 20 years
Size: 38 cm in length
Color:  green and red
Sounds: talkative
Interaction: very social

Great-Billed Parrot

Photo: TJ Lin | Flickr

Physical Characteristics of Great Billed Parrot

Also known as Moluccan parrot or island parrot, the Great Billed Parrot carries a medium sized body that can reach 38 cm in length. It is predominantly green with red beak and black shoulders. Both females and males are almost identical, with the only difference being the females are relatively smaller.

In the wild, Great Bills are commonly found in various islands of Indonesia, northern, central and southern Moluccas, Tanimbar Islands, Sangir Islands, islands around Sulawesi, and off the coast of Vogelkop.

Great Bill Parrots belong to the Tanygnathus family and are considered as one of the heaviest with a weight that can reach 450 grams. Furthermore, these species tend to be more active in the twilight. As a warning sign to their family members, they will make a distinct sound whenever they feel threatened or in danger.

Personality and Temperament

Great Billed Parrot is known to be very friendly, well-mannered and fun to be with, traits that make it an ideal pet for singles, couples, and families with small children. These species love to play and interact with its owners. In addition, it has a very calm and laid back temperament, which is also perfect for small children looking for a companion pet. Although it enjoys regular human interaction, it does not prefer to be touched or handled all the time. The recommended way to give physical contact is by gently stroking its feathers with light pressure.

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To avoid accidents and injuries, small children should always be supervised by an adult when handling this pet. There is a slight possibility that this bird will show aggressiveness when it exceeds its tolerance for constant handling or physical contact. However, when its boundaries are respected, expect safe and fun activities and happy moments to be shared.

Great Billed Parrot rarely bites its owners and other animals but loves to chew and nibble on different things that it can handle. These things are usually small and can fit in its beak such as plastic balls, cardboard boxes and tissue rolls. Due to its high tendency to chew, it is very important to keep away dangerous house objects that can cause injuries such as electrical wires and sharp objects. To prevent unwanted accidents and death, make sure to place its cage in an area far from these dangerous items. In addition, you can train and teach your pet to only play and chew on things that are safe.

Female Great Billed are known to be more aggressive and dominant than the males. If you are keeping a pair, expect some aggressive behavior from the female especially during breeding season. But most of the time, the pair will co-exist just fine and become caring parents.

Great Billed Parrots are excellent talkers and usually start at a very young age. Although they are relatively quiet most of the time, expect loud noises when they are in a flock or get excited.

Health and Care

Great Billed Parrot is considered as one of the healthiest species due to its very efficient digestive system. Although it is susceptible to a number of diseases and sicknesses that are commonly associated with birds, this species usually maximizes its life expectancy as long as the proper diet is given. However, having a unique digestive system also puts it at a high risk with over nutrition. Constantly giving bird pellets can develop over nutrition, which then can lead to various health conditions. As a solution, a steady diet of fresh fruits and vegetables is a more effective alternative. Cooked sprout and beans, as well as protein from chicken and beef, will also maintain proper health. Bird pellets can be given occasionally as long as they contain natural ingredients with no harmful chemicals and preservatives.

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History and Background

In the wild, Great Billed Parrot thrives in forests, mangroves, and woodlands. Although this species is already few in the USA, it remains abundant in various Indonesian islands. It was also rated as least concern on the list of threatened bird species.


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