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Lesser Vasa Parrot - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Black Parrot

Photo by balticbird
Ampijoroa, Madagascar
Coracopsis nigra


  • 35cm
  • Black or dark brown
  • Grey undertail covers
  • Grey outer webs of primary feathers
  • Tail dark brown or black, darker bands towards the tip
  • Pink or white bill which turns grey after moult
  • Dark brown eye has a bare grey eye ring

During breeding, the female may shed the feathers on her head giving it a yellowish tone.

Immatures - paler than adults with yellowish tinge on bill and pale grey tail feather tips.


Found on Madagascar and the Comoro Islands.


Placed in genus Mascarinus by Clements.
Seychelles Black Parrot was formerly included in this species.


There are 3 subspecies:

  • C. n. sibilans - paler brown, less black; grey on primaries absent. Bill brown/grey. Smaller in size.
  • Comoro Islands (Grand Comoro and Anjouan)
  • C. n. libs - paler in colour; underparts more brown; upperparts tinged with blue/grey; no dark band on tail.
    Drier areas of western Madagascar
  • C. n. nigra:


Mangrove swamps and evergreen forests.



The diet includes seeds, blossoms and fruit - especially berries and mangos.


Nests are built in hollow trees.


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. World Parrot Trust

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