Bird of the Week: Vernal Hanging Parrot
Vernal Hanging Parrot (Binomial name: Loriculus vernalis) is a beautiful bird is the one and only parrot species resident to Kerala, India. It’s also known as ‘Thathachinnan’ – ‘thatha’ means ‘parrot’ and ‘chinnan’ means ‘small’ – in Malayalam – local language. This is a small sized species, an adult has only 14 cm long with a short tail. The green color and its size make it very well camouflaged by the foliage.
Males: The adult has a distinctive red rump and bill, and blue throat patch.
Females: Look similar to the male, except the blue on the throat is less visible or entirely absent.
Young / immature birds: Have duller rumps and lack the throat patch.
It nests in holes in trees, laying 2-4 white eggs. Outside the breeding season, these parrots are usually seen in small groups. The female incubates the eggs for 20 days and the chicks leave the nest about 33 days from hatching.
Its diet consists mainly of seeds, fruit, buds and blossoms. They do local movements, driven mainly by the availability of the fruit, seeds, buds and blossoms that make up its diet.
Call / Song:
Its call sounds like a raucous chattering, squeaky and high-pitched in flight or at rest; with the occasional sharp and shrill notes. While feeding, they are usually quiet except for the occasional soft chuckling.