The Dracula Parrot, also known as Pesquet’s parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus) is one of the rare species of animals remaining. It is the only specie of bird in the only genus Psittrichas. It has also been described as the most gothic bird in existence as it is both scary and beautiful.
Though it looks menacing, it is relatively harmless. It can only be found in the mountainous rainforests of New Guinea. It is large parrot of up to 18 inches long and can weigh up to 800g. Its feathers and chest have a grey to black colour with a red belly, thus giving it a strikingly similar appearance to Count Dracula’s cape. It has also been known to give out eerie, haunting calls at long distances.
Another feature that differentiates it from other parrots is its vulture-like head. The small sized head is bald together with a long hooked beak due to which it is also known as the vulturine parrot. However, it is a frugivore which means it only feeds on fruit but not on just any fruit. It feeds on a few species of fig. The reason why it has a bare face is because the fruit pulp can cause facial feathers to become sticky. It also feeds on certain flowers.
The Dracula Parrot lives in a group of up to 10 or more but they can also be seen in pairs. Unlike other parrots that climb branches of trees, this specie hops from one branch to another. The two sexes of the Dracula Parrot are similar except for the presence of red spots behind the eyes of the male. Also, the female normally lays one or two eggs in the nest she makes in a large, hollow tree. Not much is known about their breeding habits in the wild.
Unfortunately, this beautiful bird is labelled as vulnerable in the IUCN Red list of threatened species. This is because of poachers who go after the bird for the feathers which are considered highly valuable for collectors. Only very few zoos in the world keep the Dracula Parrot.