Seychelles Black Parrot (Coracopsis nigra barklyi)


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  Praslin  

  The Coast  

 Natural 
History

  Conservation   
& Research

Conservation Status:  Critically Endangered
Length:  30cm / 12 inches
Wingspan:  50cm / 20 inches

Introduction
The Seychelles black parrot is a very scarce resident restricted mainly to wooded habitats on Praslin and generally considered as an endemic subspecies of the Lesser Vasa Parrot of Madagascar.  They are most commonly spotted in the Black Parrot Forest Reserve where it is not uncommon to see a couple of dozen individuals on a walk from sea level to the highest point within the reserve.

Identification
This parrot is a uniformly dull grey-brown medium sized bird (not black as some might expect).  It is distinctive in appearance and unlikely to be confused with any other bird species of the Seychelles.  Adults have relatively slim bodies and long tails, while juveniles have mottled feathers with pale edges and are generally scruffier in appearance. 

Voice
A surprisingly high-pitched series of melodious whistled notes.

Behaviour
These parrots are a joy to watch as they fly at great speed with rapid beats of their round-tipped wings.  Using both their beaks and claws, they scramble along the branches in a style reminiscent of an acrobat.  They can often be seen foraging for food or unobtrusively perching on the branches of their favourite fruit trees.

Photographs kindly provided by Ralph Pannell & Raymond Sahuquet

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