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7 Fascinating Facts About the Azure-rumped Parrot

Azure-rumped Parrot: A Bird Worth KnowingBirdwatching is a fun outdoor activity that is enjoyed by many people around the world. One bird species that is worth knowing is the Azure-rumped Parrot, scientifically known as Tanygnathus sumatranus.

This article aims to provide readers with information that will help them identify this bird species, its plumages, and molts. Additionally, the article will highlight some of the similarities the bird species may share with other similar birds.


The Azure-rumped Parrot is a medium-sized bird species measuring around 30 cm in length and weighing around 250g. The male parrots have emerald-green bodies and a blue rump, hence the name “Azure-rumped.” Females have less-emerald green bodies and do not show the bright blue rump like the males.

Both genders have black beaks and eyes, and their feet are light in color. They also have a unique call, which can be described as a harsh screeching sound.



To identify the Azure-rumped Parrot while in the field, you need to pay attention to their distinct green color with the blue rump on the males. Additionally, the birds have broad tails and wings that are important distinguishing features.

When feeding, the birds’ head is slightly pointed downwards in the canopy.

Similar Species

The Azure-rumped Parrot has few similar species, and some of these may include the Thick-billed Parrot, Red-and-green Parrot, and the Blue-crowned Parrot. To differentiate these birds, you will have to examine the coloration and distinguishing feather patterns carefully.


The Azure-rumped Parrot has different plumages, which are the adult plumage, juvenile plumage, and immatures prospectively. The adult plumage is the most distinctive, with the male having emerald-green feathering and a blue rump, while the female has less bright-green feathers and a green rump.

Juvenile Azure-rumped Parrots are brownish in color, with pale tips on their feathers, making them difficult to distinguish from other parrots from the same family. As they mature, the azure color starts appearing on the rump, helping differentiate them from other bird species in the forest.


The Azure-rumped Parrot undergoes two molting cycles, which are primary molts and pre-basic molts. The primary molt occurs over several weeks when the birds shed their old feathers and replace them with new ones.

During this process, the feathers are often seen on the forest floor. The pre-basic molt happens before the breeding season starts and is essential for the birds to remain healthy and reproduce.

In conclusion, the Azure-rumped Parrot is an exciting bird species to watch while birdwatching. The bird’s distinct coloration, plumage, and molts make them different from other similar bird species in the family.

If you are looking for beautiful medium-sized birds with a unique call, make sure to spot the Azure-rumped Parrot during your next birdwatching trip.

Systematics History of the Azure-rumped Parrot

The Azure-rumped Parrot, scientifically known as Tanygnathus sumatranus, belongs to the Psittacidae family, a family of parrots commonly referred to as the “true parrots.” The systematics history of the species involves its geographic variation, subspecies, and related species. The historical changes to its distribution are also noteworthy.

Geographic Variation

Azure-rumped Parrots are found across a broad area of Southeast Asia, primarily in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. The species can also be found in other areas of the region, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, and Cambodia.

The species is known to inhabit forested areas with a dense canopy, and it is often seen in flocks that can number up to 30 birds.


There are six recognized subspecies of the Azure-rumped Parrot, and they are spread throughout Southeast Asia. These subspecies exhibit slight differences in coloration and have unique features that help distinguish them from one another.

T. s.

sumatranus Found in northeast Sumatra and southern Peninsular Malaysia. T.

s. everetti Found in Borneo, mainly in Sabah and Sarawak.

T. s.

niasensis Found in the Nias Island group off northern Sumatra. T.

s. burbidgae Found in Borneo, mainly in Kalimantan.

T. s.

freeri Found in the Mentawai Islands off western Sumatra. T.

s. hybridus Found in Thailand, southern Laos, and central Vietnam.

Related Species

The Azure-rumped Parrot is one of several species within the Tanygnathus genus. This genus contains some of the most beautiful birds in Southeast Asia and includes the Blue-naped Parrot, which is similar in appearance to the Azure-rumped Parrot.

The Blue-naped Parrot (Tanygnathus lucionensis) is also known as the Luzon Parrot and ranges throughout the Philippines and parts of Indonesia and Malaysia. The Blue-naped Parrot has a prominent blue patch on the nape of its neck, which distinguishes it from the Azure-rumped Parrot.

Historical Changes to Distribution

There have been significant changes to the historical distribution of the Azure-rumped Parrot over time. In the past, the species was more widespread and could be found across Sumatra and Borneo.

However, due to forest destruction and ongoing habitat loss, the bird’s range has been reduced. The species has been especially affected in Sumatra, where habitat destruction and fragmentation have led to a decline in the bird’s population.

Consequently, the Azure-rumped Parrot has been classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In Malaysia, the bird is listed as “near threatened,” and the Wild Birds Protection Act of 1950 provides some protection to the species.

However, despite these measures, the Azure-rumped Parrot is still at significant risk, and conservation efforts must be continued to ensure the species’ survival. In Cambodia, Azure-rumped Parrots are often captured for trade and are listed as an endangered species.

In the Philippines, the species is critically endangered because of habitat destruction from deforestation.

In conclusion, the Azure-rumped Parrot’s systematics history is complex, and it plays a critical role in the broader context of the ecology of Southeast Asia.

The subspecies of the species, its related species, and its historical changes in distribution over time provide important insights into the bird’s past, present, and future. While the species faces significant conservation challenges, active efforts to protect the bird’s habitat, stop poaching and trade, and promote sustainable forestry offer hope for the species’ long-term survival.

Habitat of Azure-rumped Parrot

The Azure-rumped Parrot, Tanygnathus sumatranus, is a bird species native to the forests of Southeast Asia. They are primarily found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, but are also present in other parts of the region.

The species is known for its striking coloration and unique call. This article will highlight the habitat and movements and migration patterns of Azure-rumped Parrots in detail.


The Azure-rumped Parrot is a highly adaptable species commonly found in forested areas. They reside in lowland forest regions but have also been spotted in mountainous regions with dense vegetation.

The bird’s preferred habitat has a thick canopy with tall trees providing cover, range up to 1,200 meters high. Within Southeast Asia, the species can be seen in various types of forests, including mangroves, coastal forest, dipterocarp forests, and heath forests.

Their preference for dense central forests makes them an indicator species for the health of forest ecosystems in Southeast Asia. In regions like Sumatra and Borneo, their habitat range overlaps with that of other forest-dependent bird species.

However, the increasing rates of deforestation and forest fragmentation in Southeast Asia have led to a decline in the Azure-rumped Parrot’s population. The fragmentation and destruction of forests reduce their habitat, putting the species at risk and pushing them towards the brink of extinction.

Movements and Migration

While the Azure-rumped Parrot is a non-migratory bird species, it regularly moves short distances within its range. The bird’s movements depend on the seasonal availability of food and changes in weather conditions.

The species is known to move in flocks, and their movements within a specific region may span several miles. The bird’s reproductive season is from March to August, and during this period, the males display bright colors to attract females.

The courtship and breeding season are interesting since the male Azure-rumped Parrot offers food to its mate before mating. The species’ breeding habits remain predominantly unclear, and there are limited studies about its nesting and parental care.

During the nesting season, the species relies on the dense canopy of the forest, which provides a suitable habitat for nesting and breeding. The female bird builds a nest from a cluster of twigs, where a single egg is laid, which the female incubates for almost four weeks until the chick hatches.

Once hatched, the chick is dependent on its parents for food and protection. Due to habitat loss and fragmentation, populations of Azure-rumped Parrots may also remain isolated from other communities.

Isolated populations may have decreased genetic variation, making them more susceptible to threats like diseases and predation.


In conclusion, the Azure-rumped parrot is a bird species that depends on forest habitats for survival. They require denser forest habitats with a range of canopy heights to sustain food sources and nesting opportunities.

The species is known to move short distances within its range, but it is a non-migratory bird species. Their habitat is under threat due to the sustained deforestation, habitat fragmentation, and poaching that cause a reduction in their population.

We need to ensure conservation efforts, habitat preservation, and sustainable logging practices to protect the Azure-rumped Parrot from the brink of extinction.

Diet and Foraging of Azure-rumped Parrot

Azure-rumped Parrot, Tanygnathus sumatranus, is a forest-dependent bird species. The parrots have a green coloration with a distinct blue rump.

They are native to Southeast Asia and can be found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and other areas in the region. In this article, we will discuss the diet and foraging habits of Azure-rumped parrots and their vocalization.


Azure-rumped Parrots feed on a variety of fruits, berries, and nuts, which are abundant in the forest canopy. The bird’s sharply curved beak is well-suited for cracking open tough shells and extracting seeds.

When feeding, the bird’s head is generally slightly pointed downwards towards the canopy. In the wild, the birds often feed in flocks of up to 30 individuals, which helps to provide safety in numbers.


The diet of Azure-rumped Parrot mainly consists of fruit, including figs, berries, and palm fruits, which are abundant in the forest canopy. They occasionally feed on nuts and seeds, but these are not as important for their diet as fruits.

The species is a primary seed disperser of the trees that they consume, meaning that it helps disperse seeds throughout the forest.

Metabolism and Temperature Regulation

The Azure-rumped Parrot requires a considerable amount of energy to fly through the dense canopy, searching for food as well as to keep warm. To meet this energy requirement, the species has a high metabolic rate.

Additionally, the bird has adapted to the warm and humid conditions of its tropical habitat by sweating. Unlike humans, birds do not sweat, and instead, they rid their bodies of excess heat by panting – the parrots’ metabolic rate produces heat and panting ensures its temperature regulation.

Sounds and Vocal

Behavior of Azure-rumped Parrot


Azure-rumped parrots are known for their diverse vocalizations, which include screams, whistles, trills, and chatter. These sounds are believed by scientists to reflect different meanings, including warnings to other members of the flock, calls for food, and communication with mates.

The species produce a loud and distinctive screeching sound that is unique, which can travel up to several hundred meters and help to locate the birds in their dense forest habitat. These calls play an essential role in the birds’ communication and social behavior, and they use them to attract mates, defend territories, and maintain contact with family members.

In addition to their vocalizations, individual recognition is visible since birds are excellent mimics of sound. Besides, some parrots might have signature songs that they use as a display of their individual characteristics.


The Azure-rumped Parrot is a colorful bird species found in the forested regions of Southeast Asia, relying on a diet of fruits, berries, and nuts to survive. The birds are social and have a variety of vocalizations, which play an essential role in their communication and social behavior.

The high metabolic rate helps the bird meet its energy needs for survival and flight, and the ability to regulate body temperature allows it to thrive in the tropical climates where it resides. The species face considerable threats from habitat destruction, and conservation efforts are vital to ensure their long-term survival.

Behavior of Azure-rumped Parrot

Azure-rumped Parrot, Tanygnathus sumatranus, is a beautiful bird species found in Southeast Asia. The bird’s appearance is distinct, with an emerald-green body and a blue rump.

They are forest-dependent, relying on a diet of fruit, berries, and nuts to survive. In this article, we will discuss the behavior of Azure-rumped Parrots, including their locomotion, self-maintenance, agonistic behavior, sexual behavior, breeding, and demography.


Azure-rumped Parrots possess powerful wings that allow them to fly through the dense forest canopy with ease. The birds are also agile and able to navigate through the trees with dexterity.

They are able to perch on thin branches and climb around the branches, which allows them to access fruit and nuts in the forest canopy.

Self Maintenance

The Azure-rumped Parrot engages in self-maintenance behaviors, primarily through preening. Preening involves using their beak to remove dirt, dust, and parasites from their feathers.

This keeps their feathers healthy and helps maintain their flight ability. The birds also engage in dust-bathing or using contaminated soil to clean their feathers by shaking themselves.

Agonistic Behavior

Agonistic or aggressive behavior in Azure-rumped Parrots is an essential part of their social hierarchy. It involves displays of aggressive intent like loud squawking, panting, and fluffing feathers.

The birds may also engage in physical interaction with each other, which can involve biting or pushing other members of the flock.

Sexual Behavior

Male birds employ several courtship behaviors during the breeding season, including offering food to their potential mates, close approach and screaming or loud screeching vocalizations. The birds display vivid coloration to attract females, and their bright blue rump plays a critical role in this.

Breeding often occurs between March to August, and the female lays one egg, which she then incubates until it hatches.


Azure-rumped Parrots usually breed within their established flocks during the breeding season. During this period, the birds court their desired partners, and mating occurs.

The nest is usually built in dense foliage in the canopy, with the female laying a single egg. Male birds bring food to their mates and chicks in the nest, and both parents assist with the non-stop feeding of the chick.

Demography and Populations

The Azure-rumped Parrot’s conservation status falls under “vulnerable,” which means that the species is at considerable risk of extinction in the wild. The bird population faces several threats, including habitat destruction and fragmentation, poaching, and trading for pets and tourist industry.

The bird’s population reduction in Sumatra is due to the long-term decline in rural livelihoods, which led to widespread deforestation and hunting. These elongated threats resulted in illegal bird trade.

Investigations conducted on the species are vital to understand and structure the conservation of the vulnerable Azure-rumped Parrot. Results show the importance of habitat preservation and preventing illegal poaching and trade of the species.

The use of sustainable logging practices such as selective logging would also reduce habitat destruction and maintain the species’ population.


The Azure-rumped Parrot is an appealing bird species that possesses distinguished features that make them easy to identify. Their lively colors make them magnificent to observe, while their behavior displays an array of distinctive adaptations, from the way they fly through the forest canopy, feeding and maintaining their plumage to courtship and mating behavior.

Preservation of the species and its habitat requires a collective effort to ensure the resilient, colorful Azure-rumped Parrot continues to thrive in Southeast Asia forests. The Azure-rumped Parrot is a fascinating and unique bird species native to Southeast Asia.

This article has delved into the various aspects of the bird’s characteristics, including its systematics history, habitat, diet, behavior, breeding, demography, and populations. The article highlights the adaptations that these birds have developed to thrive in their environment, as well as the threats that they face due to habitat loss, poaching, and illegal trade.

The importance of conservation efforts and sustainable practices that help protect the species and its habitat cannot

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