Philippine hanging parrot

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Philippine hanging parrot
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittaculidae
Genus: Loriculus
Species: L. philippensis
Binomial name
Loriculus philippensis

The Philippine hanging parrot (Loriculus philippensis) is also widely known as the colasisi[2] taken from its local Tagalog name, "kulasisi". It is a small parrot species of the family Psittaculidae. It includes about eleven subspecies, which are all native to only the Philippines; however, the exact taxonomy is unclear, and at least one of the subspecies might become split off and become a separate species if further research provides clarification.

They are mainly green with areas of red, orange, yellow, and blue varying between subspecies. Only the males have a red area on their fronts, except for the population living on Camiguin, where neither male nor female have this red area. They make nests in tree holes and, unusually for a parrot, the female takes nesting material back to the nest.


Philippine hanging parrots are about 14 cm (5.5 in) long, weigh 32–40 g, and have a short rounded tail.[3] They are mainly green with areas of red, orange, yellow, and blue varying between subspecies.[3] The forehead is red and the irises are dark brown.[4] Adults have red beaks and orange legs except for Loriculus (philippensis) bonapartei which have black beaks and grey legs.[3] They are sexually dimorphic with only the males having red on their chin or upper chest,[3][4] except for the Loriculus (philippensis) camiguinensis in which neither the male or female has a red bib or chest.[5] Juveniles have less red on their heads and paler beaks, but otherwise resemble the female.[3][4]


The species or species complex was initially described by Statius Müller in 1776. The exact taxonomy listing is unclear.[3][5][6]

Loriculus philippensis (Statius Muller) 1776

  • Loriculus philippensis apicalis Souance 1856
  • Loriculus (philippensis) bonapartei Souance 1856[3] (Black-billed hanging parrot) - sometimes considered as a subgenus or subspecies of the L. philippensis[citation needed] or another species of Loriculus.[citation needed]
  • Loriculus philippensis bournsi McGregor 1905
  • Loriculus philippensis chrysonotus Sclater, PL 1872 (Cebu hanging parrot)
  • Loriculus philippensis dohertyi Hartert 1906
  • Loriculus philippensis mindorensis Steere 1890
  • Loriculus philippensis philippensis (Statius Muller) 1776
  • Loriculus philippensis regulus Souance 1856
  • Loriculus philippensis siquijorensis Steere 1890
  • Loriculus philippensis worcesteri Steere 1890
  •  ?Loriculus (philippensis) camiguinensis Tello, JG 2006[5] (Camiguin hanging parrot) - usually considered a separated species of Loriculus, L. camiguinensis
L. p. bonapartei

In 2006, hanging parrots living on the island of Camiguin, off the northern coast of Mindanao, were described and thought to have a separate identity, Loriculus (philippensis) camiguinensis; however, more research and DNA analysis is required to clarify their taxonomy.[5] There is also uncertainty over the taxonomy of Loriculus (philippensis) bonapartei which has been classified as a subspecies or a species in different classifications.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Philippine hanging parrot is native to the Philippines except the Sulu Archipelago and it is not widespread on Palawan. The different subspecies are native to different islands, and some subspecies are rare or almost extinct. Trading of birds between the islands for pets has resulted in escaped pets living on different islands to where they originated.[4]

Its natural habitats are tropical moist lowland forests, bamboo forest and tropical moist montane forest. It also occupies human-modified habitats including coconut groves and secondary forest. It is most common in lowland areas, being rare above 1250 m.[7]

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

A male L. p. philippensis eating fruit at Subic Bay, Luzon, Philippines.

Philippine hanging parrots are usually encountered alone or in pairs, rarely in small groups.[8] They mostly forage for food in the canopy or middle storeys of forests,[8] and their diet is composed of nectar and flowers as well as soft fruits such as those from figs (Ficus).[7]

The species is a season breeder, with nesting occurring from March to May. Like most parrots it is a cavity nester; a nest found in the wild was in a cavity high up in a dead tree. However, it is one of the few species of parrots that uses nesting material in the nest, the female tucks nesting material between feathers in order to take it back to the nest.[4] In captivity the clutch size was 3 eggs which are incubated for 20 days. The chicks take around 35 days to fledge after hatching.[4][7] The rounded eggs measure about 18.7 x 16.4 mm.[8]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Loriculus philippensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Kennedy, R.S., Gonzales P.C., Dickinson E.C., Miranda, Jr, H.C., Fisher T.H. (2000) A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Forshaw, Joseph M. (2006). Parrots of the World; an Identification Guide. Illustrated by Frank Knight. Princeton University Press. plate 46. ISBN 0-691-09251-6.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Juniper, Tony; Mike Parr (1998). "182 Colasisi". Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-07453-6.
  5. ^ a b c d Arndt, Thomas (2006). "A new hanging parrot from Camiguin Island, Philippines" (PDF). BirdingASIA. 5: 55–58. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-06-17.
  6. ^ "Zoological Nomenclature Resource: Psittaciformes (Version 9.022)". 2009-03-01.
  7. ^ a b c Collar N (1997) "Family Psittacidae (Parrots)" in Handbook of the Birds of the World Volume 4; Sandgrouse to Cuckoos (eds del Hoyo J, Elliott A, Sargatal J) Lynx Edicions:Barcelona. P. 405 ISBN 84-87334-22-9
  8. ^ a b c Forshaw, Joseph M.; Cooper, William T. (1981) [1973, 1978]. Parrots of the World (corrected second ed.). David & Charles, Newton Abbot, London. pp. 326–27. ISBN 0-7153-7698-5.
  • Tello, J.G., Degner, J.F., Bates, J.M. & Willard, D.E. 2006. A new species of hanging-parrot (Aves: Psittacidae: Loriculus) from Camiguin Island, Philippines. Fieldiana Zoology 106:49-57.

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