Although the Dracula parrot isn’t looking to suck your blood, or anyone or anything’s blood for that matter, it does have a way of catching people’s eyes and attention.
The rare bird has the head of a vulture and the body of a parrot. It can only be found in the cloud forests in the foothills and lower mountains of New Guinea. The Dracula parrot is also known as the vulturine parrot or the Pesquet parrot.
The bird is strikingly beautiful. The lower half of the Dracula parrot is a bold and bright-colored red. Meanwhile, the head of the bird is a more muted grey. The bird also has a somewhat peculiar half-bald head.
The Dracula Parrot Of New Guinea
According to Australian Geographic, the Dracula parrot gets its half-bald head as a result of only eating figs. The feathers around the eyes and beak would turn into a sticky and tangled mess from consuming so many sticky fruits. This evolutionary trait is actually very common amongst parrots that exclusively eat fruits.
Although the Dracula parrot only snacks on figs primarily, they still are quite the hefty bird. The parrot is over a foot-and-a-half in length from beak to tail. They weigh over two pounds as well.
These unique birds will travel in groups of up to 14 and build nests in hollow trees. Without interference, these birds can live up to 20 years.
While the United States doesn’t get to see the villainous-looking bird, some photographers have certainly captured the elegance of the rare Dracula parrot. Those who have been near it also comment on the bird’s call. Instead of a peaceful chirp, the Dracula parrot releases a more alarming growl or scream when it’s in flight. It’s far creepier, but also fitting for such a unique bird.
The Dracula parrot is part of the Psittrichasinae subfamily of Indian Ocean parrots. In fact, it is the only member of that subfamily, which means that even amongst birds similar to them, the unique parrot stands out.
For bird watchers or animal enthusiasts, New Guinea may be an excellent place to travel in the future. However, a part of the glory is that much of the island has been undiscovered by scientists. This is because there is a low population on the island, meaning wildlife can truly exist free from human interference.
New Guinea has anything from kangaroos to possums to wallabies to over 700 bird species to frogs to lizards and snakes. Unfortunately, forested parts of Papua New Guinea have been subject to commercial logging. Many wildlife groups around the world have stepped in to protect the wonderful natural environment of the area.
Poachers Interfere With Dracula Parrot
Unfortunately, the Dracula parrots have become targeted by local poachers. The gorgeous rainforest creature is already rare, but the threat from humans could eventually make it an extinct bird.
According to The Epoch Times, the Dracula parrot has been declared a vulnerable species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Redlist. The species has faced a massive decrease in population because humans have taken to killing the bird for its unique feathers.
These feathers are used by the local population for different ceremonies and events. Meanwhile, loggers in the area try to avoid fig trees, which are the birds’ go-to choice in food.
Humans killing the bird, as well as other factors, may cause the bird to go extinct in future years.