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 General Information About the Pygmy Parrot

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Pete
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PostSubject: General Information About the Pygmy Parrot   Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:02 am



Pygmy parrots are the smallest members of the parrot family. There are six species of pygmy parrot; all in the genus Micropsitta, which is the only genus in the Micropsittini tribe.

Pygmy parrots are native to the forests of New Guinea and nearby islands. Pygmy parrots are tiny birds: fast-moving, mostly green with bright highlights. A pygmy parrot spends a good deal of time climbing through foliage, using its large feet and beak, and stiffened tail feathers. At a little over 8 cm (3.5 in) long, the Buff-faced Pygmy Parrot is the smallest parrot species.

Pygmy parrots are also among the few species in the order (other examples include Pyrilia and Nannopsittaca species) that have never been successfully kept, let alone bred, in captivity. All attempts to do so have resulted in the quick deaths of the little birds. Stress and dietary deficiencies are probably to blame. Pygmy parrots are among the few birds that feed on fungus and lichen, which play a major role in their diet. Their precise dietary needs are however poorly understood.

Description

Pygmy parrots are the smallest parrots and range is size from about 8 cm (3.5 in) to 10 cm (4 in). They have long toes and long curved claws. The shafts of their tail feathers are stiff and form projections at the end of the tail. The cere is prominent. The external appearance of the adult males and adult females differ to varying extents in different species. Juveniles are duller.

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