Tag Archives: Admirality Islands

Psittrichas sp. Admirality Islands

Admirylity Islands Parrot (Psittrichas sp.)

This species, if it indeed was one, is known exclusively from one account dating to about the middle of the 19th century.: 

I saw on the main island a scarlet and black Parrot or Cockatoo of some kind, which flew out of some high trees on the seashore, screaming loudly, like a Cockatoo. The bird was wary, and I could not get a shot at it. It reminded me at the time of the rare Dasyptilus pequetti [Pesquet’s Parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus (Lesson))] of New Guinea; it was of about that size.” [1][2]

This account may refer to a species endemic to the Admirality Islands, or it may refer to the actual Pesquet’s Parrot (see depiction below), which inhabites New Guinea itself and may once have had a wider distribution or may have traveld over sea from the larger island to the smaller offshore island groups.

If it indeed refers to a endemic form, this one is now extinct, since no such bird is known to occur on the Admirality Islands today.

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References:

[1] H. N. Moseley: Notes by a naturalist on the “Challenger”, being an account of various observations made during the voyage of H.M.S. “Challenger” around the world, in the years 1872-1876, under the commands of Capt. Sir G. S. Nares and Capt. F. T. Thomson. London, Macmillan and Co. 1879
[2] Julian P. Hume: Extinct Birds: 2nd edition 2017

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Pesquet’s Parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus)

Depiction from: R. P. Lesson: Illustrations de Zoologie, ou recueil de figures d’animaux, peintes d’après nature. Paris: Arthus Bertrand 1831-1835

(public domain)

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edited: 11.02.2020