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What is a Hanging Parrot?

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  • Written By: Elizabeth West
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2018
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The hanging parrot is a species of parrot belonging to the genus Loriculus, native to tropical Southeast Asia. It feeds on fruits and nectar, and likes to sleep and sometimes eat hanging upside down. They are found in Thailand, Borneo, and Sumatra, and live on the edges of forests, in gardens, and in parks. The hanging parrot can be kept in captivity, but care must be taken to reproduce its diet as closely as possible.

These birds are mostly green, and patches of brighter color vary by species. The female hanging parrot and the chick are more subdued in coloration than the male. It averages about five inches (13 cm) long, weighs about one ounce (28 g), and has a short tail and a hooked beak. They are fairly quiet birds, occasionally making a squeaky, high-pitched call. The parrot hangs from one foot like a bat when sleeping, and sometimes eats upside down.

The birds live primarily at the edge of forested areas and travel through the canopy. Outside of the breeding season, they may be found in groups of up to 150. It is easy for the hanging parrot to hide in commercial orchards because of their size, and they may become pests in agricultural areas. Due to rapid deforestation in some areas, habitat loss is a deep concern for these birds.

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Hanging parrots feeds mostly on soft fruit like figs, berries, buds, and sometimes insects. They get daily nutrition from the nectar of flowers. In captivity, they like apples, pears, peaches, kiwi, and vegetables such as cabbage, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. Care should be taken not to overfeed them, as they are prone to obesity.

Like most parrots, hanging parrots prefer to nest in captivity, and usually lay three eggs. While the female hanging parrot incubates the eggs, which takes around 21 days, the male will feed her. The chicks hatch in about 30-35 days. It takes a bit more time for them to develop the strength to fly on their own.

The hanging parrot makes an interesting pet. Unlike other species of parrots, they don’t handle dry food well and must be kept on a soft fruit diet, supplemented by seeds and grains. Artificial nectar can be purchased for them from feed stores. They are prone to fungal diseases, so their cages and accessories should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. With extra attention from their owners, these shy little birds can become pleasant family members.

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