These birds are endemic to Madagascar, where they can be found in forests and in areas of grassland.
Vasa parrots eat a variety of seeds and fruit, including corn from the stalk which makes them an agricultural pest.
The female is dominant and pursues the male aggressively to encourage him to feed her as part of their courtship behaviour.
During the breeding season, female vasa parrots lose the feathers on their head, exposing their yellow skin. This is a feature unique among parrot species and probably only attractive to male vasa parrots! Dominant female vasa parrots will mate with several males, and a clutch will contain eggs fathered by at least two different males. Once hatched, the female will leave the chicks to be fed by the males, each believing that they are the father of the chicks. After 49 days the chicks will leave the nest.
As they are seen as crop pests, it is legal to hunt vasa parrots in Madagascar, and high levels of hunting contribute to a rapid decline in numbers. In common with many Madagascan species, loss of their forest habitat is also a threat.
- Latin Name: Coracopsis vasa
- Class: Birds
- Conservation Status: Least Concern
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