Deroptyus accipitrinus -
Der Fächerpapagei

Lewis, Scott (Old World Aviaries)
Hawk-headed Parrots

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, Exotic Birds, California.

Another male 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.

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