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Vasa Parrot

 (Coracopsis vasa)

Also known as: Greater Vasa Parrot (C.v. vasa), Western Vasa Parrot (C.v. drouhardi), Comoro Vasa Parrot (C.v. comorensis)

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Vasa Parrot
© AEM via Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

Female Vasas in breeding condition lose feathers on their head and crown and the skin becomes bright yellow, giving the bird a vulturine appearance.

Academic Research

Related publications: Coracopsis vasa

Species Profile

Genus: Coracopsis | Species: vasa

Size:

50cm (19.5 in)

Weight:

480g (16.8 oz)

Races including nominate:

three: C.v. vasa, C.v. drouhardi, C.v. comorensis

Colourization Adult:

C.v. vasa: Male-grey/black, more grey on upperparts; grey undertail coverts, shafts of feathers streaked black; outer webs of primary feathers blue/grey; brown/black tail, grey underneath. Bill pink/horn coloured. Lores and eye ring bare and pink/white. Eye dark brown.  Female-as in male but when breeding loses feathers from head to reveal yellow/orange skin.               
C.v. drouhardi: Both adults paler, more blue/grey on upperparts; grey/white undertail coverts and underside of tail; tail with darker subterminal band; smaller in size.             
C.v. comorensis: Both adults paler in colour; brown tinged underparts; undertail coverts grey/brown with shafts streaked darker; smaller in size.

Colourization Juvenile:

As in adult but more brown plumage; feathers of underparts marked chestnut brown. Bill grey. Cere, lores, and eye ring bare and pale grey.

Call:

Wide range of sounds.  Whistling, puppy-like yapping, harsh squawks, raucous calls, and vibrating, grating sounds.

Listen Now

Video Links:

Video 1 | Video 2

More Information:

Avibase
AvianWeb
Handbook of the Birds of the World

Content Sources:

CITES
BirdLife International
Internet Bird Collection
ML Media Collection Catalogue 95364, Vasa Parrot Coracopsis vasa, Schulenberg, Thomas, Fianaratsoa, Madagascar, Dec. 27 1991, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Site
Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World, Juniper and Parr, 1998
Parrots of the World, Forshaw and Cooper, 1989. 2010 edition
Parrots of the World, Forshaw, 2006.
Parrots in Aviculture, Low, 1992.
Psittacine Aviculture, Schubot, Clubb and Clubb, 1992.

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Vasa Parrot
© AEM via Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

Female Vasas in breeding condition lose feathers on their head and crown and the skin becomes bright yellow, giving the bird a vulturine appearance.

Academic Research

Related publications: Coracopsis vasa

Species Care

Captive Status:

Rarely seen in captivity.

Longevity:

Not available

Housing:

Walk-in aviary, minimum length 7m (23 ft).

Diet:

Fruit such as: apple, pear, orange, banana, cactus fruits, pomegranate, forming about 30 % of the diet; fresh vegetables such as: carrot, celery, green peas, beans, fresh corn, green leaves; spray millet and limited mixed seed; cooked beans and pulse; complete kibble; walnuts.

Enrichment:

Not available

Nest Box Size:

Horizontal box, 16" x 16" x 48" (40.6cm x 40.6cm x 122cm).

Clutch Size:

3 to 4

Incubation Time:

17 days

Fledging Age:

7 weeks

Hatch Weight:

Not available

Peak Weight:

Not available

Weaning Weight:

Not available

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Vasa Parrot
© AEM via Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

Female Vasas in breeding condition lose feathers on their head and crown and the skin becomes bright yellow, giving the bird a vulturine appearance.

Academic Research

Related publications: Coracopsis vasa

Species Wild Status

World Population:

Unknown, decreasing.

IUCN Red List Status:

Least Concern

CITES Listing:

Appendix II

Threat Summary:

Hunted for food. Officially treated as a harmful species due to predation of crops. Also trapped for wild bird trade, and threatened by habitat loss.

Range:

C.v. vasa: E Madagascar.
C.v. drouhardi: W Madagascar.
C.v. comorensis: Comoro Islands, Moheli and Anjouan.

Habitat:

Inhabits variety of habitats from moist dense forest to open dry woodland and savanna, to cultivated areas and inhabited areas. Up to 1000m (3280 ft).

Wild Diet:

Consumes seed, nuts, berries, fruits; cultivated maize, rice and millet.

Ecology and Behaviour:

Congregates in noisy parties and in larger flocks when feeding or roosting. Roosts in tops of tall trees with a lookout to warn of danger. Active on moonlit nights.

Clutch and Egg Size:

3 to 4 slightly elliptical eggs, 46.0 x 34.0mm (1.8 x 1.3 in).

Breeding Season:

Probably October-December.

Related Links:

Research: Unusual sex roles in a highly promiscuous parrot: the Greater Vasa Parrot
Research: Copulation behaviour in the Vasa Parrots
Research: Scientists observe tool use in Vasa Parrots

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Vasa Parrot
© AEM via Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

Female Vasas in breeding condition lose feathers on their head and crown and the skin becomes bright yellow, giving the bird a vulturine appearance.

Academic Research

Related publications: Coracopsis vasa

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