Articles courtesy of Weltvogelpark Walsrode:
Fig-parrots are distributed throughout various regions of New Guinea and Australia, where they can be found primarily in fruit-bearing trees, especially fig tree. Fig-Parrots are small, predominately green, and leaf shaped. Until about two years of age, male and female fig parrots look the same, then the males begin to color out on the head and the bib.
Fig-parrots are small - most of them are smaller even than budgies. They were named after their favorite food: figs. Their natural diet also includes other fruits, nectar, flowers, bugs and insect larva. Fig Parrots are usually found around figs in tropical rainforest in three very distinctly separated populations along the east coast of Australia, as well as New Guinea. They will also visit figs and other fruiting trees in adjacent woodlands and even urban areas. Fig parrots are difficult to observe in their habitat because of their small size, camouflaging color and rapid movement in forest or near-forest situations. They tend to be high up in the canopy well hidden in the foliage. When engrossed in feeding, observers may hear a variety of soft, chattering noises.
Until about two years of age, male and female fig parrots look the same, then the males begin to color out on the head and bib and are ready for breeding. The breeding season starts in July. Fig parrots excavate nesting chambers at the end of tunnels in the dead trunks and branches of rainforest trees. The incubation of the eggs is done by the female, but the male helps feed the chicks.
Due to the widespread clearing of lowland rainforest for sugar cane farming and cattle grazing this little parrot is now one of the eight bird species which are currently listed as being vulnerable or rare in Australia's Wet Tropics region.
Care requirements of fig parrots in captive situations, including housing, breeding and pet potential
They are divided into two families:
The Psittaculirostrises and the Cyclopsitta or Opopsittas.
- The Psittaculirostrises average 7 - 7.9 in (~18 - 20 cm) in length.
- Desmarest's Fig Parrots / Golden-headed Fig-Parrots or Large Fig-Parrot (Psittaculirostris desmarestii)Edwards's Fig-parrot (Psittaculirostris edwardsii)
- The Cyclopsitta / Opopsittas start at around 5 inches (~12 cm): the Coxen's Fig Parrot; and up to 7.5 inches (~19 cm): the Salvadori Fig Parrots.
- Double-eyed Fig-Parrots (Cyclopsitta diophthalma)Orange-breasted Fig Parrots (Cyclopsitta gulielmiterti gulielmiterti)Salvadori's Fig Parrots / Salvadori's Orange-breasted Fig-Parrots aka Salvadori's Fig Parrot (Cyclopsitta gulielmiterti fuscifrons)
Class: Aves ... Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae ... Subfamily: Psittacinae
Genus: Scientific: Micropsitta ... English: Pygmy Parrots ... Dutch: Spechtpapegaaitjes ... German: Spechtpapageien ... French: Psittacule
CITES II: Endangered Species Species
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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