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Discover the Fascinating Black-Lored Parrot: Unique Appearance and Endangered Status

The Black-lored Parrot, also known as Tanygnathus gramineus, is a medium-sized parrot with a distinct and unique appearance. It is part of the Psittacidae family and is recognized for its green body and black facial patch.

This article aims to provide the reader with an overview of the Black-lored Parrot, its identification, plumages, and molts.

Identification

Field Identification

The Black-lored Parrot is about 33 cm in length and weighs around 250-300g. Its distinguishing feature is its black facial patch that stretches from the base of the beak to the area around the eye.

The patch is also accompanied by a bright red band adjacent to the beak. Its plumage is mainly green, with blue and yellow on its wings and tail feathers.

The bill is curved, and the eyes are orange-red. The legs are gray.

Similar Species

The Black-lored Parrot has some similarities to the Vernal Hanging-Parrot and Red-breasted Parrot. The Vernal Hanging-Parrot, also known as Loriculus vernalis, has a green body, but its wings are red, and it does not have a black facial patch.

On the other hand, the Red-breasted Parrot, also known as Psittacula alexandri, has a similar facial patch to the Black-lored Parrot, but its body is pink.

Plumages

The Black-lored Parrot’s plumage changes with age. Juvenile birds have less distinct facial patterns, and their plumage is predominantly green.

Meanwhile, adults have the distinct black facial patches, red bill, and yellow and blue wings. However, the color of the feathers may vary between subspecies.

Molts

The Black-lored Parrot undergoes an annual molt process, where it sheds and replaces its feathers. This typically happens towards the end of the breeding season at the end of summer.

During this process, the parrot’s existing feathers will start to fall off, and new feathers will start to grow in their place. This process usually takes a few weeks to complete.

In conclusion, the Black-lored Parrot is a unique and fascinating bird species, recognizable by its black facial patch and green body. It is also interesting to note that its plumage changes with age.

With proper observation, it can be identified easily in the wild. Understanding the plumage and molt patterns of this species can provide insights into its behavior and adaptations.

Systematics History

The systematic history of the Black-lored Parrot, also known as Tanygnathus gramineus, dates back to the 19th century. In 1830, the French naturalist Ren Primevre Lesson first described this species as Psittacus gramineus.

Later on, it was reclassified as Tanygnathus gramineus by Bonaparte in 1854.

Geographic Variation

The Black-lored Parrot has a wide range, inhabiting the lowland forests and mangroves in Southeast Asia. Its distribution extends from southern Thailand, Malaysia, and the Greater Sundas (including Sumatra, Borneo, and Java), to the southern Philippines.

Within this range, there is variation in the morphology, vocalizations, and behavior of the Black-lored Parrot.

Subspecies

The Black-lored Parrot has six recognized subspecies, including the Tanygnathus gramineus gramineus, Tanygnathus gramineus aurantipectus, Tanygnathus gramineus concinnus, Tanygnathus gramineus everetti, Tanygnathus gramineus group, and Tanygnathus gramineus versteegi. Tanygnathus gramineus gramineus: This subspecies is found on the mainland of Southeast Asia, extending from southern Thailand to the Malay Peninsula.

It has a characteristic orange-red beak and a yellowish-green chest. Tanygnathus gramineus aurantipectus: This subspecies is found in Sumatra, Indonesia, and has a distinctive orange neck and chest.

Tanygnathus gramineus concinnus: This subspecies is found in northern Borneo and has a green plumage with a yellow spot on the wing. Tanygnathus gramineus everetti: This subspecies is found in the central and southern regions of Borneo.

It is distinguished by its prominent red patch on its cheeks. Tanygnathus gramineus group: This subspecies is unique to Mendolong, an island in the Riau Islands, Indonesia.

Tanygnathus gramineus versteegi: This subspecies is found in the southern Philippines and has a dark green plumage.

Related Species

The Black-lored Parrot is closely related to other species within the genus Tanygnathus, such as the Blue-naped Parrot, Tanygnathus lucionensis, and Red-breasted Parrot, Psittacula alexandri. The Blue-naped Parrot has a green body with a blue nape, while the Red-breasted Parrot has a pink body with a black facial patch.

Historical Changes to Distribution

There is little information available regarding the exact historical distribution of the Black-lored Parrot. However, it is believed that it has undergone a decline in population and range due to habitat loss caused by deforestation and development.

The species is now listed as vulnerable according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. In Sumatra, the Black-lored Parrot’s habitat has been significantly reduced due to the conversion of forests for agriculture and urbanization.

Logging and burning practices have also affected their habitat, leading to a decline in their numbers. Similar situations have occurred in Borneo, where the species’ habitat has been destroyed for palm oil plantations.

In the Philippines, the Black-lored Parrot’s range has been reduced due to habitat loss and hunting. The species was once common in Palawan, but it is now rare due to the rapid conversion of forests into agricultural lands and charcoal production.

In Malaysia, the Black-lored Parrot is threatened by habitat loss and the illegal bird trade. The species is also prone to hunting and trapping, as it is considered a pet bird.

In conclusion, the Black-lored Parrot is an interesting species that is recognized for its unique appearance, geographic variation, and related species. Although their exact historical distribution is unknown, the species has undergone a decline in population and range due to habitat loss, hunting, and trapping.

Conservation efforts are needed to effectively protect this valuable species from extinction.

Habitat

The Black-lored Parrot is a species that is commonly found in lowland forests, including dipterocarp forests, mangroves, and swamp forests. Its habitat ranges from sea level to about 1500m above sea level.

In Malaysia, they are found in riverine forests and lowland forests in the coastal regions. In the Philippines, the species is found in mangroves, lowland forests, and forests in hilly areas.

Movements and Migration

The Black-lored Parrot is a non-migratory species, meaning that they do not migrate to different regions depending on the season. However, they are known to make some movements within their habitat to find suitable nesting sites and foraging areas.

During the breeding season, the Black-lored Parrot can become more territorial, and pairs may defend their nests from other birds. In Borneo, the species is known to share their territories with other parrot species, forming mixed-species flocks for feeding and nest defense.

However, these flocks tend to disband after the breeding season. The Black-lored Parrot can be seen in small groups consisting of a few individuals or pairs.

Pairs are typically monogamous and may remain together for several breeding seasons. The species is mainly arboreal, meaning that they spend most of their time perching or flying in trees.

They are known to forage on fruits, seeds, and flowers, which can be found throughout their habitat. In addition to this, they are also known to forage on the ground, particularly in areas where they can find fallen fruits or seeds.

The Black-lored Parrot communicates with each other through various vocalizations, which may include screeching calls, squawks, and whistles. They are also known to use body language, such as head bobbing and wing flapping, to communicate with each other.

Conservation Efforts

The Black-lored Parrot is listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN Red List, which means that it is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. The species is threatened by habitat loss, hunting, and the illegal pet trade.

To conserve the Black-lored Parrot, several measures have been put in place. In Malaysia, the species is listed under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, which provides legal protection against hunting and trapping.

The Malaysian Nature Society has also been monitoring the population of the species, particularly in the Kinabatangan region of Sabah. In the Philippines, the species is listed under the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001, which also provides legal protection against hunting and trapping.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has been working on conservation plans to protect the species and its habitat. In Sumatra and Borneo, the species is listed under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which regulates the import and export of wildlife products.

CITES also helps to establish captive breeding programs for the Black-lored Parrot, which can help to reduce the demand for wild-caught birds in the pet trade. Other conservation efforts include habitat restoration and education programs to increase public awareness of the species and its conservation needs.

These efforts are essential to protect the Black-lored Parrot and ensure its continued survival in the wild. In conclusion, the Black-lored Parrot is a fascinating species that inhabits lowland forests and mangroves in Southeast Asia.

Although it is a non-migratory species, it can make some movements within its habitat to find suitable nesting sites and foraging areas. The species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild due to habitat loss, hunting, and the illegal pet trade.

Conservation efforts such as legal protection, habitat restoration, and education programs are crucial to protect this species and ensure its continued survival.

Diet and Foraging

Feeding

The Black-lored Parrot is primarily herbivorous, feeding on fruits, nectar, seeds, and flowers. They are known to forage on the ground, particularly in areas where they can find fallen fruits or seeds.

The species is adept at using its bill to break open seeds and fruits to access the flesh inside.

Diet

The Black-lored Parrot’s diet varies depending on the availability of food sources. In Malaysia, the species is known to feed on the fruits of the fig tree, durian, and rambutan.

In Sumatra, they are known to feed on fruits such as the Ficus racemosa and the Ficus benjamina. In Borneo, the species is known to feed on nectar-producing flowers, such as the coral vine.

Metabolism and Temperature Regulation

The metabolism of the Black-lored Parrot is similar to other birds. They have a high basal metabolic rate, which means that they need to eat frequently to maintain their energy levels.

Another interesting aspect of their metabolism is their ability to regulate their body temperature through various mechanisms, such as panting and evaporative cooling.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Vocalization

The Black-lored Parrot communicates with each other through various vocalizations, which may include screeching calls, squawks, and whistles. They are known to be very social birds, often calling to each other as they forage or move about their habitat.

They are also known to have different vocalizations that serve specific purposes, such as mating calls, territorial calls, and alarm calls. In general, the Black-lored Parrot’s vocalizations are quite loud and can be heard from a distance.

Their calls are typically high-pitched and have a distinctive quality that can help to identify the species in the wild. The species is capable of mimicking the sounds of other birds and even human speech, making them popular as pets.

During the breeding season, the Black-lored Parrot’s vocalizations can become more intense, particularly when pairs defend their nests from other birds. In mixed-species flocks, their calls may blend with those of other parrot species, creating a unique chorus of sound that can be heard throughout the forest.

The vocalizations of the Black-lored Parrot are an important aspect of their behavior and play a significant role in their social communication. They help these birds to recognize each other, establish territories, and attract mates.

Their vocalizations also provide insights into their behavior, helping researchers to understand their social structure, mating behavior, and territoriality. In conclusion, the Black-lored Parrot is a fascinating species that feeds primarily on fruits, nectar, seeds, and flowers.

Their vocalizations are an essential aspect of their behavior, helping them to communicate with each other and establish social structures. While their metabolism is similar to other birds, they have unique mechanisms for temperature regulation.

Understanding the diet and vocal behavior of the Black-lored Parrot provides insights into their adaptations and behavior, and their conservation is important for preserving the biodiversity of the Southeast Asian region.

Behavior

Locomotion

The Black-lored Parrot is an arboreal species, meaning that they spend most of their time perching or flying in trees. They can move quickly through the canopy, using their strong well-developed feet and sharp claws to cling to branches.

They are also known to be agile, making quick turns in flight to avoid obstacles, or to change direction in pursuit of prey. On the ground, the Black-lored Parrot can move with ease, hopping and walking, using their wings to maintain balance.

They have been observed foraging for food on the ground in both forested and open areas.

Self-Maintenance

The Black-lored Parrot engages in self-grooming as part of their behavior. They use their beaks to preen their feathers and remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated.

They may also use their feet to scratch areas that they cannot reach with their beaks.

Agonistic Behavior

Like other parrot species, the Black-lored Parrot displays agonistic behavior, particularly during the breeding season. Pairs may defend their nesting sites from other birds, engaging in physical confrontation, or calling loudly as a warning to other birds to stay away from their territory.

They are also known to engage in courtship displays, such as bowing, head-bobbing, and wing-flapping to attract potential mates.

Sexual Behavior

The Black-lored Parrot is a monogamous species, meaning they mate with one partner for several breeding seasons. During courtship, pairs engage in various behaviors, including grooming each other, preening each other’s feathers, feeding each other, or engaging in physical contact.

Breeding

The breeding season for the Black-lored Parrot varies depending on the region. In Malaysia, the breeding season typically takes place between December and April, while in the Philippines, it usually occurs from November to June.

Pairs may establish breeding territories, which they will defend from other birds to ensure the safety of their nests. The Black-lored Parrot nests in tree cavities, typically using natural holes or those created by other wood-boring animals.

They may also use abandoned nests created by other birds. Once the nest is established, pairs will take turns incubating eggs and feeding their chicks.

The incubation period for the Black-lored Parrot is around 28 days, and the chicks will fledge after about 60 days.

Demography and Populations

The Black-lored Parrot is a vulnerable species, meaning that it is at a high risk of extinction in the wild.

Habitat loss and the illegal pet trade have contributed to the decline of their populations.

In Malaysia, the species is considered rare, and the population is fragmented, with small numbers remaining in isolated areas. In the Philippines, the Black-lored Parrot is known to occur in Palawan, but their numbers have declined due to habitat loss and hunting.

In Sumatra and Borneo, the species is declining at a rapid rate due to deforestation for agriculture and urbanization. Conservation measures are being taken to protect the Black-lored Parrot.

The species is protected by law in Malaysia and the Philippines, and efforts are underway to restore their forest habitats and establish captive breeding programs. Raising public awareness of the importance of conserving the species and its habitat is also important for the success of conservation efforts.

In conclusion, the Black-lored Parrot exhibits interesting behaviors related to locomotion, self-maintenance, and agonistic and sexual behavior. The species is monogamous and breeds in tree cavities, with pairs sharing the task of incubating eggs and feeding chicks.

Populations of the species are vulnerable due to habitat loss and the illegal pet trade, and conservation efforts are necessary to protect this valuable species from extinction. In conclusion, the Black-lored Parrot, also known as Tanygnathus gramineus, is a fascinating and unique species of parrot, recognized for its distinctive black facial patch, green plumage

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