Blue-backed Parrots aka Müller's (or Mueller's) Parrots, or Azure Rumped Parrots

Female Blue-backed Parrot

The Blue-backed Parrot, Tanygnathus sumatranus, is also known as Müller's (or Mueller's) Parrot, or Azure Rumped Parrot.


Distribution / Range

The Blue-backed Parrot is found the on the islands around the Philippines and Sulawesi (Indonesia). They occur in lowlands and lower mountains; in forest, along forest edge, and some in cultivated areas up to 800m.

They are usually seen in small flocks.


Description

This is a medium size parrot, averaging 32cm in length. The plumage is basically green with yellow-streaked wings, a blue rump, and blue wing bends. The head, mantle, wings and tail are darker green, the belly and collar are lighter green.

The blue-backed parrots are sexually dimorphic (most parrots aren't) - the male can be identfied by his red beak and the female by her pale yellow or horn-colored beak.

They are often active at night and are known to eat crops, including corn.


There are six subspecies:

  • T. s. sumatranus: Sulawesi and nearby islands

  • T. s. sangirensis: Sangir Islands and Karakelong. More blue on wing bends and wing coverts, head darker green. Yellow iris.

  • T. s. burbidgii: Sulu Islands. Darker green with lighter collar. Yellow Iris.

  • T. s. everetti: Panay, Negors, Leyte, Samar, Mindanao. Mantle and back darker, rump and head lighter. Some blue in mantle. Red iris.

  • T. s. duponti: Luzon. Dark green with yellow collar. Yellowish underwing coverts. Iris red.

  • T. s. freeri: Polillo Islands. More uniform color with less contrast, more yellow on nape (back of the neck). Iris red.



Sub-species:

Burbidgei's / Burbidge's Blue-backed Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Tanygnathus sumatranus / mulleri burbidgii ... English: Burbidgei's Blue-backed Parrot ... Dutch: Witsnavelpapegaai ... German: Weißschnabelpapagei ... French: Perroquet d'Archipel Sulu

Description: Same as Müller's Parrots (sumatranus) pictured above, but head yellow-green; upper back green, clearly defined by lighter head colouring; lower back pronounced blue; entire upper wing-coverts green with narrow yellow-green edging; tail upperside dark green; iris red; on average slightly larger. ... Length: 32 cm (12.5 - 12.8 ins), wing length: 210 mm - 230 mm (8 - 9 ins)

CITES II - Endangered Species ... Distribution: Sulu Archipelago in the Philippines, Moluccan Islands


Du Pont's Blue-backed Parrots:

Description: Paler blue tinge; lower back slightly paler blue; under wing-coverts yellowish; iris red. ... Length: 31 cm (12 ins), wing length: 199 - 204 mm (8 ins)

CITES II - Endangered Species ... Distribution: Luzon Island, Philippines


Everett's Blue-backed Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Tanygnathus sumatranus / mullerli everetti ... English: Everett's Blue-backed Parrot ... Dutch: Kleine Witsnavelpapegaai ... German: Kleiner Weißschnabelpapagei, Everett Papagei ... French: Perroquet de Everett ... CITES II - Endangered Species

Description: Same as Müller's Parrots (sumatranus) - pictured above, but upper back green tinged with blue; yellowish-green band between head and upper back; lower back pronounced blue; breast and abdomen feathers slightly darker; entire upper wing-coverts green with narrow yellow-green edging; tail upperside darker green; iris red; on average smaller. ... Length: 31-32 cm (12-12.8 in), wing length: 180 - 208 mm (7 - 8 ins)

Distribution: Panay, Leyte, Samar, Negros and Mindanao in the Philippine; Moluccan Islands


Freer's Blue-backed Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Tanygnathus sumatranus freeri ... English: Freer's Blue-backed Parrot ... Dutch: Freer's Witsnavelpapegaai ... German: Polillo Weißschnabelpapagei ... French: Perroquet d'ile Polillo ... CITES II - Endangered Specie

Description: Same as Everett's Blue-backed Parrots (everetti), but plumage generally more yellowish, particularly on nape (back of the neck); crown paler green; wing-coverts with paler edging; upper back green tinged paler blue; lower back slightly paler blue; iris red; larger. ... Length: 32-34 cm (12.8-13.5 ins), wing length: 230 - 240 mm (9 - 9.5 ins)

Distribution: Polillo Island, Philippines and Moluccan Islands


Müller's Parrots, Müller's Blue-backed Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Tanygnathus sumatranus sumatranus ... English: Müller's Parrot, Müller's Blue-backed Parrot ... Dutch: Müllers Papegaai ... German: Müllers Edelpapagei ... French: Perroquet de Müller

Description: General plumage green; upper back, breast and abdomen more yellowish; lower back and rump feathers pale blue; lesser wing-coverts and primary wing-coverts tinged with blue; median wing-coverts and secondary wing-coverts with yellow-green edging; under wing-coverts green-yellow; tail green with green-yellow tips; tail underside dirty yellow; skin to narrow periophthalmic ring grey; bill red with pale tip; iris pale yellow; feet grey. Female as male, but without yellowish tinge to upper back; lesser wing-coverts virtually without blue tinge; bill pale horn colour. Immatures as female; male attains adult bill colouration at 10 - 12 months. ... Length: 32 cm (12.5ins), wing length 200 - 222 mm (8 - 8.5ins)

CITES II - Endangered Species ... Distribution: Sulawesi (formerly known as Celebes), Togian and Sula Islands - part of the Maluku island group in Indonesia, Banggai Archipelago, Muna and Buton

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

For updates please follow BeautyOfBirds on Google+ (google.com/+Avianweb)



Please Note: The articles or images on this page are the sole property of the authors or photographers. Please contact them directly with respect to any copyright or licensing questions. Thank you.

BeautyOfBirds strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please send us an e-mail. THANK YOU!

Comments