Great-billed Parrots, aka Moluccan Parrots or Island Parrots



Great-billed Parrot, Tanygnathus megalorynchos

The Great-billed Parrot, Tanygnathus megalorynchos also known as Moluccan Parrot or Island Parrot is distributed to tropical forests of islands off Sulawesi (formerly known as Celebes), Lesser Sunda Islands and Maluku in eastern Indonesia, the Philippines and islands of west New Guinea.

This parrot is widespread throughout its large range and is, therefore, evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


Description:

This is a medium-sized, 16 to 16.4 (38 - 41 cm) long, green parrot with massive red bill, yellow iris, olive green back and a pale blue rump.

The underparts are yellowish green. The edge of the wing, lesser wing-coverts and shoulder feathers are black. The median wing-coverts are black - each feather has a broad yellow edging. The secondary-coverts are green with yellowish-green edging. The flight feathers are blue with a narrow green edging to the outer webs. The primary wing feathers are blue and the under wing-coverts and sides of breast are yellow.

Both sexes are similar, although the female is smaller than male.

Young birds generally have a duller plumage. The shoulder feathers and wing-coverts are green with a little black. The median wing-coverts have only a narrow pale yellow edging. The irises are dark.

Great-billed Parrot


Great-billed Parrot Breeding

Little is known about their natural breeding behavior and the breeding period commences around December (may differ depending on location).

  • Egg measurement: 38.8 x 28.4 mm or 1.52 x 1.12 inches
  • Average clutch size: 2 eggs
  • Incubation: 25 - 27 days
  • Fledging: 60 - 65 days

Aviculture:

Breeding in aviculture has seldom been achieved, even though some report that it is not difficult. The hen broods alone while the male perches near the nestbox most of the time and feeds the female while she tends to the eggs.

This is generally a quiet parrot. Noise level usually increases during the breeding season. Newly imported birds are susceptible, but once acclimatized are fairly hardy.

They require a large aviary to remain healthy. The minimum accommodation should be 4 x 1 x 2 m (12 x 3 6 ft). Colony system possible, even during the breeding season, provided the aviary is large enough to accommodate additional pairs. Even though this species is not known to be hard chewers, fresh (non-toxic) branches should be provided regularly for entertainment and nutrition.

The temperature should not go below 22°C (70°F) during acclimatization and, once acclimatized, should not go below 10°C (50°F).

An appropriate nestbox size would be 30 x 30 x 55 cm (12 x 12 x 24 ins) with entrance hole 8 cm (3 ins) in diameter.


Great-billed ParrotDiet:

Its natural diet consists of fruit (breadfruit), flowers (especially of Flame trees), berries and nuts; sometimes causes damage to cultivated areas.

Captive diet: They require a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and greenfood. A high-quality seed mix of safflower, paddy rice, wheat, oats, canary grass seed and various millets; some sunflower (also sprouted) should also be available. Other food items include pine cones, cooked rice, half-ripe maize, rowanberries, rose-hips and small quantities of dried shrimp. At the beginning of the breeding season, eggfood should be fed as well.


Calls / Vocalizations

They are generally quiet. Their contact calls consists of raucous cries and whistling sounds.


Alternative Names

Species: Scientific: Tanygnathus megalorhynchos megalorhynchos ... English: Great-billed Parrot ... Dutch: Grootsnavelpapegaai ... German: Schwarzschulter Edelpapagei ... French:Perroquet à coude noir




Sub-species:


Buru Great-billed Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Tanygnathus megalorhynchos affinis ... English: Buru Great-billed Parrot ... Dutch: Buru Grootsnavelpapegaai ... German: Buru Schwarzschulter Edelpapagei ... French: Perroquet à coude vert

Description: Same as Great-billed Parrots (megalorhynchos) - described above - but head with slight bluish tinge; breast and abdomen much greener; shoulder feathers green; bend of wing blue, becoming bluish-green on lesser wing-coverts; under wing-coverts and sides of body more greenish. The primaries (= longest wing feathers) are green. ... Length: 41 cm (16 ins)

CITES II - Endangered Species ... Distribution: Buru, Seram, Amboina or Ambon, Haruku in the southern Moluccas


Djampea Great-billed Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Tanygnathus megalorhynchos djampeae ... English: Djampea Great-billed Parrot ... Dutch: Djampea Grootsnavelpapegaai ... German: Djampea Schwarzschulter Edelpapagei ... French: Perroquet d'ile Djampea

Description: Same as Great-billed Parrots (megalorhynchos), but breast and abdomen pale green; secondaries (shorter, upper "arm" feathers) (shorter, upper "arm" feathers) bluish with narrow green edging; primaries (= longest wing feathers) are green; primary wing feathers dull violet-blue. ... Length: 41 cm (16 ins) ... CITES II - Endangered Species

Distribution: Djampea Island and Kalao, south of Sulawesi, Indonesia.


Flores Great-billed Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Tanygnathus megalorhynchos floris ... English: Flores Great-billed Parrot ... Dutch: Flores Grootsnavelpapegaai ... German: Flores Schwarzschulter Edelpapagei ... French: Perroquet d'ile Flores

Description: Same as Great-billed Parrots (megalorhynchos), but breast and abdomen pale green; lower back much darker blue; under wing-coverts and sides of body more greenish; primary wing feathers violet-blue.

Length: 41 cm (16 ins) ... CITES II - Endangered Species ... Distribution: Flores in the Lesser Sunda Islands


Madu Great-billed Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Tanygnathus megalorhynchos viridipennis ... English: Madu Great-billed Parrot ... Dutch: Madu Grootsnavelpapegaai ... German: Madu Schwarzschulter Edelpapagei ... French: Perroquet à ailes verts

Description: Same as Great-billed Parrots (megalorhynchos), but primaries (= longest wing feathers) and in some birds also secondaries (shorter, upper "arm" feathers) (shorter, upper "arm" feathers) green. ... Length: 41 cm (16 ins)

CITES II - Endangered Species ... Distribution: Kalao tua and Madu Islands, south of the Sulawesi (formerly known as Celebes) - part of the Maluku island group in Indonesia Group, Indonesia


Sumba Great-billed Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Tanygnathus megalorhynchos sumbensis ... English: Sumba Great-billed Parrot ... Dutch: Sumba Grootsnavelpapegaai ... German: Sumba Schwarzschulter Edelpapagei ... French: Perroquet d'ile Sumba

Description: Same as Great-billed Parrots (megalorhynchos), but breast and abdomen green; back much more blue; lower back much darker blue; under wing-coverts and sides of body more greenish; primary wing feathers violet-blue; larger. ... Length: 43 cm (17 ins)

CITES II - Endangered Species ... Distribution: Sumba in the Lesser Sunda Islands


Tanimbar Great-billed Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Tanygnathus megalorhynchos subaffinis ... English: Tanimbar Great-billed Parrot ... Dutch: Tanimbar Grootsnavelpapegaai ... German: Tanimbar Schwarzschulter Edelpapagei ... French: Perroquet d'ile Tanimbar

Description: Same as Great-billed Parrots (megalorhynchos), but head with slight bluish tinge; breast and abdomen greener; shoulder feathers green; back yellowish-green with little or no blue to tips of feathers; bend of wing blue, becoming bluish-green on lesser wing-coverts; under wing-coverts and sides of body more greenish; the primaries (= longest wing feathers) are green. The lower back is green tinged faint pale bluish. ... Length: 41 cm (16 ins)

CITES II - Endangered Species ... Distribution: Tanimbar Islands (Maluku province), Indonesia


Timor Great-billed Parrots:

Species: Scientific: Tanygnathus megalorhynchos hellmayri ... English: Timor Great-billed Parrot ... Dutch: Timorese Grootsnavelpapegaai ... German: Timor Schwarzschulter Edelpapagei ... French: Perroquet de Hellmayr

Description: Same as Great-billed Parrots (megalorhynchos), but breast and abdomen much greener; head with more yellowish green tone; shoulder feathers green; back green and virtually without any blue tinge; bend of wing green; lesser wing-coverts green with very little black; black usually almost totally absent in female; median wing-coverts with narrow greenish-yellow edging; under wing-coverts and sides of body more greenish; primary wing feathers and flight feathers green; smaller. ... Length: 38 cm (15 ins)

CITES II - Endangered Species ... Distribution: westernmost Timor and nearby Semao Island


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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