Parakeet (Forbes) Cyanoramphus forbesi
Species: C. forbesi
Binomial name: Cyanoramphus forbesi
Common name: Forbes parakeet,
Cyanoramphus forbesi is a rare parakeet endemic to New Zealand’s Chatham Islands group where it is confined to two tiny islands – Māngere and Little Māngere.
They are a medium-sized parakeet, with a long tail and orange-red eyes. Plumage is bright green, with a red band across the forehead (but not reaching the eyes) and a yellow forecrown. The lores (the region between the eye and bill on the side of the head) are also green, and the bird has some red plumage on the sides of the rump, and violet-blue outer primaries and wing coverts. The female parakeet is slightly smaller than the male, which is also reflected in her smaller bill size.
This parakeet is found in dense forest and scrub, and utilizes tree hollows and rock crevices to nest. Their diet consists of invertebrates, flowers, seeds, leaves, fruit, shoots and bark. They breed between October and March. The female bird will stay in the nest during incubation, and the male will bring her food. Clutch size is between 2-9 eggs, and once the eggs hatch both the male and the female adult birds will share parental care of the offspring.
This parakeet is one of New Zealand’s rarest birds and is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, as a result of a range of threats to the species survival, including habitat loss, predation, and hybridisation. There are only a few Cyanoramphus forbesi, so they have been interbreeding with the red-crowned parakeets (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae chathamensis). Without intervention to separate the two species, hybridisation may make the species extinct. A number of conservation methods have been employed to assist the recovery of this species, and currently the population trend is considered stable.
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