Parrots - Psittcidae
Return to Index page Parrots Parakeets

Parrots are birds found in most warmer climates such as that of the tropical regions.  Basically, Parrots are usually grouped into two main families. The "true" Parrots -under Psittacidae and those looking like Parrots - Cacatuidae. The Cockatoos are examples. Lastly another group- Lorikeets. they can be said to be the third group, Loriidae. But now most often considered a subfamily of the Psittacidae . The latter 2 groups of birds commonly found in Australia and none in Malaysia. Just some background to start this subject of Parrots.

World wide, there are 358 species that come under this groupings. In South-east Asian tropical forest  - 11 species. Malaysia itself has  5 species. Parrots in Malaysia are small to medium size when compared to those seen for example in Australia. Malaysian Parrots are seldom seen and it is hard to accidentally bump into them. But if they are around, you could easily detect their presence. By their noisy calls and that they move around in flocks.

Some main characteristic features of Parrots. they have strong curved bill, stand upright, strong legs with zygodactyl feet [with two toes facing forward and two toes facing rearward on each foot]. Like most Parrots, Malaysian Parrots are green with some other colors on the head or neck. Such colors do not go the extend of making them colorful or outstanding. They by their silhouette are nice looking birds. Our Parrots are not known to imitate human voices but their appearance as Parrots too make them popular pets.

In the wild, Parrots being vegetarian, feeds on seeds, nuts, fruit, buds and other plant materials. They build their nests in holes found on trees.

Of the couple frequently seen species, the Blue-crowned is specially picked as a caged birds. I suppose they poachers have no difficulties in locating them and bringing them home.

While in cage, passer-by could also detect their presence by their incessant sharp calls. For the exercise on this page, the names of the Malaysian Parrots are:-

Blue-rumped Parrot Psittinus cyanurus
Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri
Long-tailed Parakeet Psittacula longicauda
Vernal Hanging-Parrot Loriculus vernalis
Blue-crowned Hanging-Parrot Loriculus galgulus

The only "Parrot" that we occasionally meet up with these days would be the Long-tailed Parakeets. Up to the time some years back, the Blue-crowned Hanging Parrots were common in our forest edges. Within a few years, all these birds were taken away by poachers and sold to Pet Shop. Seeing one Blue-crowned hanging Parrot, is a rarity and the last one I saw in Taman Negara. How sad?

1. Blue-rumped Parrot - Psittinus cyanurus

 Size & diagnostic markings:- This Malaysian Parrot is only 19 cm long. Bulkier in looks It has green wings with lines and a purplish-blue body. Head is grayish-blue with a red bill.

 Distribution :-  The bird is resident in Sumatra and Borneo Islands
 Habitats & preferences:- This is a lowland forest bird, staying up in the canopy of tall trees. Descending to the lower storey or scrubs in fruiting seasons.
 In Malaysia, where can the bird be found:- Seen the bird in open areas in Taman Negara and fairly often in Perdik.
 My personal jottings :-

This Parrot at 19 cm behaves similarly as the more common Blue-crown Hanging Parrot. It also shares the same type of habitats that is broad leaves lowland forest and forest edge.

What differentiate this bird from the Hanging Parrots is that it appear broader. To me I feel that it moves or changes places of feeding less frequent. The bird remained at a single spot foraging slowly. The few encounters I had with the birds in Perdik was that the birds moves in family of few birds. Then, with its typical call to signify its presence in the area. The bird remains in the canopy area even when it is down in low heights. Move quickly without stopping. I was lucky that in 2 seasons I met the bird feeding at low level feeding on the Marcaranga Fruits.

This is a rare bird that is not easily spotted because of its small size and it keeps its distance with human. Robson wrote that the bird is resident in Sumatra and Borneo. My pictures were all taken in Perdik and Taman Negara.

Record of bird's calls:-    and Videos:-
 

Blue-rumped Parrot # 1

Blue-rumped Parrot # 2

Blue-rumped Parrot # 3

Blue-rumped Parrot # 4

Blue-rumped Parrot # 5

Blue-rumped Parrot # 6

Blue-rumped Parrot # 7

Blue-rumped Parrot # 8

Blue-rumped Parrot # 9

Blue-rumped Parrot #10

Blue-rumped Parrot # 11

Blue-rumped Parrot #12

Blue-rumped Parrot # 16

Blue-rumped Parrot # 17

Blue-rumped Parrot # 18

Blue-rumped Parrot # 19

Blue-rumped Parrot # 20

Blue-rumped Parrot # 21

Blue-rumped Parrot # 22

Blue-rumped Parrot # 23

Blue-rumped Parrot # 24

Blue-rumped Parrot # 25

Blue-rumped Parrot # 26

Blue-rumped Parrot # 27

 

2. Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot - Loriculus galgulus

 Size & diagnostic markings:- This is a small bird of only 14 cm. long It is a tiny bird in very bright green and having a prominent blue dot on it crown. Behind the head on the back is a yellow patch. and then a red patch at the bottom of the throat .

 Distribution :-  This is also a bird from the Sumatra and Borneo Island.
 Habitats & preferences:- This is a lowland forest bird making very distinctive calls in captivity while in the forest, the calls are hardly heard but the bird is quietly crawling around.
 In Malaysia, where can the bird be found:- It was plentiful in Taman Negara and also in Ulu Langat but the bird is hardly seen for a long time.
 My personal jottings :-

One of the easiest Parrots to meet up with in Malaysia should be this Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot. In fact, this could be the only Parrot you could see, if you are ever out on a trip to look for one.

Though not so commonly seen, the bird is found in most places in peninsula Malaysia. A lowland bird usually and one that avoid the high mountains. Though a forest bird in nature, it is found mostly in forest edge and those with human settlements. That could also classify the Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot as a garden bird if you garden is in very remote places like Taman Negara. With its habit of staying near human and such a cute bird, widespread poaching for the pet shop trade has reduced the population of this bird.

I have seen the bird feeding alone but most occasions there was another bird somewhere nearby. It could be in pair though they did not feed side by side. The most number of birds I have seen at one time, was in Taman Negara. In the compound of the chalet where I normally stay during my visit. On almost all previous trips, there would be over 15 birds feeding on the same Acacia Mangium tree. Their action was that of cracking open the pods for the seeds and also gleaning the twigs for some insects or saps.

On subsequent trips to Kuala Tahan, that same tree was removed and the flock of birds did not gather at the neighboring trees. I still see the bird in other part of the compound but as a lone feeder.

Record of bird's calls:-    and Videos:-  

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 1

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 2

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 3

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 4

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 5

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot # 6

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 7

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot # 8

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 9

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 10

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot # 11

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 12

 

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 16

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot # 17

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 18

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 19

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot # 20

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 21

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 22

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot # 23

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 24

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 25

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot # 26

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot  # 27

 

3. Vernal Hanging-Parrot - Psittinus cyanurus

 Size & diagnostic markings:- This is also a small parrot at 14 cm. It has short tail with bright green colors. The back  tail and the beak in very prominent red, while the legs and feet in dull yellow.

 Distribution :-  This is a bird from Nepal, north-eastern India, the Andaman and south-western China
 Habitats & preferences:- This is a lowland forest bird but sometimes do visit mountain. Essentially a fruit hunting bird
 In Malaysia, where can the bird be found:- Only in northern Peninsula when the landmass is nearer to the Andaman Seas.
 My personal jottings :-

This is an all green tiny bird of 14 cm. Just imagine a tiny green bird, the size of a Sunbird sliding along branches. Recall similar experiences with the Green Broadbill.  The only chance of locating the bird is when its movement on the upper branches with the skyline as background or against the dark brown tree trunk. I was attracted to the bird's movement when it was flying across and making its ritual calls.

Unlike the Blue-crowned which has lots of colorful red and blue dots, this bird has none. That makes ID for the bird difficult especially it is partially hidden by foliages.

Record of bird's calls:-    and Videos:-
 

Vernal Hanging Parrot  # 1

Vernal  Hanging Parrot # 2

Vernal  Hanging Parrot  # 3

Vernal Hanging Parrot  # 4

Vernal  Hanging Parrot # 5

Vernal  Hanging Parrot  # 6

 
 

I have started organizing my pages within the theme of Birds family. So far this page on Parrot is one that I particularly fond of.

It shows the amount of pictures that I am still short of to complete the page and also I am unable to positively identify the birds pictures that I collected. For the page I merely scrapped through with a couple of blurry shots to get the page filled for future updates, which I hope should be soon. Just urging me to go back to the field to work harder.

Parrots being the top bird for the hobbyist market are naturally one of the most sort after birds as well by the bird watchers. Unfortunately in Malaysia, we have very few Parrots and those that are seen in the country are relatively small birds. As mentioned earlier, with competition from the poachers and the poorly enforced laws on the trade, it is getting even harder to spot Parrot in the wild.