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Hawk-headed parrot

Deroptyus accipitrinus

Description: Also known as the Red fan parrot, this bird has a unique set of elongated red, edged in blue feathers on the back of its head that can be raised into a head-dress like structure. The beak, legs and eyes (ringed in yellow) are black. The male and female have a white fore crown and a brown throat with white streaks. The base of their neck, breast and belly are red and edged with blue; back, wings and tail are emerald green; underside of their tail is black. Sexes are not sexually dimorphic.

Size: Adults can weigh 6.7-10.6 ounces (190-300 gr) and are about 14 inches (36 cm) long.

Behavior: Hawk-headed parrots are usually social and are in small groups of four to seven birds. They are very territorial and when threatened or agitated they erect their beautiful, fearsome ruff.

Diet: Hawk-headed parrots eat a wide variety of fruits, seeds, nuts, leaves and buds.

Communication: Hawk-headed parrots can produce many different sounds ranging from a nasal high-pitched cry (heya, heya) which is used while courting and during normal behavior. They can also hiss, growl and scream very persistently.

Reproduction: The breeding season for the Hawk-headed parrot is December and January. The Hawk-head has one to three medium-sized white eggs per year. The female lays her eggs in an abandoned nest hole or in a dead tree trunk. The male Hawk-head cares for the female while she incubates the eggs. The chicks hatch after being incubated for 26 days, and are blind and helpless. The chicks leave the nest after 10 to 12 weeks and are on their own.

Habitat/range: Their natural habitats are undisturbed tropical forests and savannas. They range from South America, the Guianas, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Ecuador.

Status: Listed as Least Concern on IUCN.