The Dracula Parrot Is Scary And Beautiful All At Once

The more I explore, the more I get the feeling that we know nothing about the planet we live in. The Earth is the habitat of countless amazing species of flora and fauna, and I get the feeling we know only the tiniest part of them all.

Even after centuries of efforts and huge advancements in technology, numerous things in nature can easily surprise us.

While the wonders of many species have been revealed to us, an incredible number more have never been encountered by humans at all.

Did you know that there was a Dracula parrot, living only in the cloud forests in the foothills and lower mountains of New Guinea?

You probably guessed that this majestic bird resembles the famous count, and you are right- the creature has brightly colored scarlet plumage, that stands out against the dusty grey chest, back, and tail.

The bird is also known as Pesquet’s parrot or the vulturine parrot, and it can reach a body size of 18 inches, with measurements of almost a meter from beak to tip of the tail. The large parrot can also reach a weight of 680–800 g.

Unlike the females, the adult male parrots of this species have a red spot behind the eye.

These parrots look unusually small-headed, as a result of the bare black facial skin and the long, hooked bill.

Its uniqueness is also proven by the fact that it is the sole member of the Psittrichasinae subfamily of Indian Ocean island parrots.

It has brightly colored scarlet plumage that contrasts the dusty grey chest, back, and tail.

Yet, the parrot was named Dracula for a few reasons, apart from its appearance.

First of all, it has a terrifying call, that sounds “harsh and rasping; also described as growling”, as well as “drawn out scream given frequently in flight.”

Also, it is one of the three parrots with featherless faces.

Yet, it is a highly specialized frugivore, eating almost a few species of figs only, and flower blossoms and nectar comprise the remainder of the diet.

Unfortunately, the population of these birds is decreasing at a rapid rate, with only 20k to 49k mature parrots left.

Their population is decreasing, with currently only between 20k to 49k mature parrots left.

The main reasons for it include local poaches attracted by their magnificent feathers and habitat loss.

According to Red List, “Hunting for feathers has increased with population growth. Current rates of decline due to hunting are uncertain but could be relatively minor, and the species appears secure in large areas of suitable habitat in central and western mainland Papua New Guinea, much of which occurs in rugged terrain in areas with a low human population density.