Deroptyus accipitrinus -
Hawk-headed Parrots, Deroptyus accipitrinus, are native to the
Amazon basin. According to Forshaw (Parrots of the World),
Hawk-heads inhabit undisturbed lowland rain forests on higher
ground and tend to avoid flooded forests, forest margins, and
clearings. They feed on fruits, seeds, nuts, berries, leaf buds,
and vegetable matter. They congregate in small groups.
Relatively small, Hawk-headed Parrots are 31-35cm long and
weigh 190-274g. They are striking birds with buff-white crown
and forehead, cheeks brown streaked with white, nape and hind
neck dark red edged with blue, green backs and wings, and breast
and abdomen dark red edged with blue.
The crest or ruff configuration of the Hawk-head is unique in parrots.
When a Hawk-head is excited or angry, the ruff is raised in a fringe
that surrounds the back of the head. According to Low
(The Complete Book of Parrots), Hawk-headed Parrots are not easy
to breed. They lay two or three eggs and incubate 26 days.
Babies fledge at about 9 weeks. Hawk-heads in breeding situations
can be extremely aggressive towards both aviculturists and mates.
Hawk-heads have been known to kill mates, even in pairs that appear
to be closely bonded. We have observed males in nest boxes that
make Eclectus hens guarding their eggs and babies look like fuzzy
cuddle bunnies. Open the inspection door and all you see is a crest
surrounding a beak trying to eat your face!
We started with three pairs of Hawk-heads; only one is still together.
One male killed his hen. Compatibility did not appear to be an issue,
because we had watched the birds copulate several times.
Photo mit freundl. Genehmigung:
Dale R. Thompson,
severely injured one of his hen's wings, which had to be amputated at
the elbow. This pair is separated. The third pair is still together,
and so far both birds are intact. This potential for aggression should
be seriously considered if you are thinking about breeding Hawk-heads.