24 Apr Featured Bird: Mealy Parrot (Amazona farinosa)
Mealy parrots are the largest of the Amazonas (38 – 41cm in length) found on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. They are distinguished from the Red-lored parrots by the absence of the red markings on the forehead and their large white eye ring. Most amazons can be aggressive but the mealy parrots have a docile temperament and are considered to be the gentle giants of the amazon parrots.
They are found from South Mexico down through Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil, but its population has declined in its range due to loss of habitat and other human induced pressures. It is a common to abundant resident of the Osa Peninsula often seen in forest canopy or semi-open areas near forest cover. In the breeding season they are generally found in pairs or small flocks of 15 to 20 individuals, however, winter roosts have known to contain more than 100 parrots. Mealy parrots can be raucous in flight but very quiet while feeding unless there are some demanding youngsters around! Their diet consists of fruits, seeds, arils, buds and flowers and they are known to feed on human crops such as corn as well. They love to climb and hang around upside down during the day. They nest in natural cavities and can lay 3 – 4 eggs in a breeding season. The female incubates the eggs for 24 – 28 days and is fed by the male through regurgitation until the eggs hatch. He will help feed his nestlings until they leave the nest at about 8 weeks.
Its call is a series of deep squawks.
Listen to Mealy Parrots call: