Meek's pygmy parrot

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Meek's pygmy parrot
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Superfamily: Psittacoidea
Family: Psittaculidae
Subfamily: Psittaculinae
Tribe: Micropsittini
Genus: Micropsitta
Species: M. meeki
Binomial name
Micropsitta meeki
Rothschild & Hartert, 1914

Meek's pygmy parrot (Micropsitta meeki), also known as the yellow-breasted pigmy parrot, is a species of small parrot in the family Psittacidae. It is endemic to Papua New Guinea.

Taxonomy and etymology[edit]

This bird is one of seven named in honour of the English naturalist Albert Stewart Meek, who collected many previously unknown birds and insects from Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific region.[2] Many of these are now in the Natural History Museum in London.[2]

The two subspecies are M. m. meeki Rothschild & Hartert, 1914, and M. m. proxima Rothschild & Hartert, 1924.[3]

Description[edit]

Pygmy parrots are the smallest members of the true parrots superfamily. They are fast-moving, emerald-green birds with brilliant flashes of colour.[4] Meek's pygmy parrot has a cap, forehead, nape, and face of mid-brown with a yellow throat and underparts. In M. m. meeki, the yellow colouring extends to the ear coverts, while in M. m. proxima, it also extends as a narrowing band of yellow horizontally above the eyes. In the latter subspecies, the face and nape are a paler brown. The remainder of the plumage is green, slightly darker on the back and wings, and paler on the belly. The beak and large feet are brown.[5]

Distribution[edit]

Meek's pygmy parrot is known from the Admiralty Islands, a group of eighteen islands in the Bismarck Archipelago to the north of Papua New Guinea.[4] It is said to be common on the islands of Lou and Manus and the population appears to be stable so it is listed as being of "Least Concern" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.[1]

Biology[edit]

Meek's pygmy parrots have not been much studied. They spend their day clambering about among the foliage of trees using their beaks, large feet, and stiffened tail feathers for support. Their diet is believed to be insects, fungi, lichens, and mosses.[4] Attempts to keep pygmy parrots in captivity have not met with success. This may be due to the birds suffering from stress or to a lack of understanding of their dietary requirements.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Micropsitta meeki". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Rothschild, Walter, Hartert, Ernst and K. Jordan" (PDF). Catalogue 39. Andrew Isles. p. 36. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Alan P. Peterson (16 May 2012). "Psittaciformes: Micropsittinae". Zoological Nomenclature Resource. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Meek's Pygmy Parrots". Pygmy Parrots. Avian World. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Josep; Andrew (1997). del Hoyo; Elliot; Sargatal, Jordi, eds. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions. ISBN 8487334229.