New Guinea is home to many unique animals. One such creature is the appropriately named Dracula Parrot. This vulture-parrot hybrid is found only within New Guinea’s cloud forests in the lower mountains and the foothills.
You may also hear it referred to as the Pesquet’s parrot, or even the vulturine parrot. This striking bird features scarlet red plumage that contrasts with its gray back, chest, and tail. These contrasting colors give the appearance that the bird is wearing a cape. Most people are intrigued by it because it has the head of a vulture and the body of a parrot.
The birds are large and heavy. In fact, they stretch to nearly half a meter from beak to tail, and weigh almost one kilogram. They maintain the bulk because they feed primarily on figs. Most researchers agree their feeding habits are probably the reason they have semi-bald heads.
It’s said that overtime the bird began to lose head feathers to prevent a sticky mess from eating the syrup of figs. This is also thought to be the reason the bird has no feathers on its face.
The Dracula parrot, or Psittrichas fulgidus, is the sole member of its genus and the only one in its subfamily. Though they have a strong resemblance to vultures, their looks are all that they share.
Local poachers target the Dracula parrot due to this unique color patterns. The combination of poachers and the loss of habitat has reduced the species to numbers that are dangerously low. This combination is especially bad considering the fact that the birds are so picky with figs that they endanger their own survival!
What do you think about the Dracula parrot? We think it looks like something that should be sitting on the shoulder of a Disney villain!