Friday, April 21, 2017

Blue-crowned hanging parrots

Often we hear the high pitched honking calls of the blue-crowned hanging parrots as they zip around the Little Red Dot. They are also the only parrot that you will hear along the busy roads of our business district. This is because they favor the yellow flame trees that are planted along the roads, which provide them with food and ideal nesting holes. Their diminutive statue and green color make difficult to spot among the leaves. They are also not as noisy as the parakeets and can move quietly among the foliage. It takes a lot of patience and ignoring stares of people around you as you peer closely at a tree to spot them.
Can you spot the parrot?
Although they are nectar and fruit feeders, they need protein too to survive. In the wild, nature provides them with larvae. In the photo below you'll see a parrot drinking nectar. Look at the leaves of the tree, they've been punched full of round holes. These holes are the result of an infestation of bagworm moth larvae.

I was lucky to have seen photos from a friend who had photographed these parrots doing something unusual, they were harvesting larvae to eat. Spent some time to document this behavior plus I couldn't resist getting better shots of the handsome male blue-crowned hanging parrot.
Plucking larvae to eat
Male blue-crowned hanging parrot

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