We greatly hope that you will enjoy reading this article about 3 Bewildering New Guinea Birds as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you. It’s also our hope that it increase your awareness of the countless wonders of Nature found throughout the world.
Obviously, these few creatures represent only a few of the 320 known bird species endemic to New Guinea. We feel, however, that they serve as a good example of the wide variety of avian life found here. So, sit back, enjoy what’s before you, and let the wonders begin!
Pesquet’s Parrot Facts
- Leading off this article about 3 Bewildering New Guinea Birds comes the incredible avian known simply as Pesquet’s Parrot.
- It’s immediately obvious to the astute observer that the amazing animal represents an extremely unique variety of parrot. That particular physical uniqueness, however, in point of fact extends much further than just its sheer physical appearance.
- The incredible bird actually represents the sole occupant of both an entirely separate genus and subfamily, within the Family Psittrichasiidae. This different type of parrot also remains renowned among related species for its truly distinctive sounds.
- Its common call strikes most individuals who hear it as quite rasping in nature. But, it also has the tendency to frequently emit a long, drawn out scream while in flight. As a result, it also goes by the alternate common name of the vulturine parrot.
- This remarkable avian now finds itself in extreme danger, however, due to a combination of several factors. For the moment, its population appears to be decreasing in direct proportion to the rate of ongoing habitat loss, not surprisingly.
- Since the remarkable Pesquet’s Parrot had a limited range to begin with, it remains especially vulnerable. The ever-increasing effects of climate change also poses a severe threat to the bird. For these reasons, the IUCN currently lists it as Vulnerable.
Pesquet’s Parrot Physical Description
Perhaps most notably, its appearance and sounds do not constitute the only distinctive characteristics of the incredible Pesquet’s Parrot. That holds true due to the fact that, in addition to its other traits, it also forms a slightly larger than average type of parrot.
The remarkable bird also displays a mild degree of sexual dimorphism, much like many related species. In its particular case, however, the impressive animal does so with a very small, and quite easily overlooked difference in visual appearance.
A small red spot appears behind each eye on the male, but not the female. In every other way, the two genders present identical physical appearances, including having a comparatively small head. Firstly, it attains an average overall length of about 18 in (46 cm).
Secondly, adults typically reach a weight of between 24 – 28 oz (680 – 800 gms). Its wings generally present as black, with dark gray scaling. Also, it usually has a bright red chest and abdomen. It also has a large black beak, with the combination creating a striking appearance.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Psittaciformes
- Family: Psittrichasiidae
- Genus: Psitrichas
- Species: P. fulgidus
Pesquet’s Parrot Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Quite unfortunately, the astonishing Pesquet’s Parrot remains native to only a tiny part of the world. This range consists of only certain portions of Papua New Guinea, near Australia. It’s unknown to researchers if it ever possessed a greater range of habitation.
But, even within this already limited area, it displays clear preferences for its habitat. The avian only inhabits specific regions of the local rainforest. Here, this absolutely amazing variety of parrot appears at altitudes ranging from 328 – 5,905 ft (100 – 1,800 m).
The fascinating bird also distinguishes itself from related species in yet another manner. That holds true due to the nature of its diet. Most known varieties of parrot feed as omnivores. Surprisingly, however, this animal evolved as a highly specialized frugivore.
In point of fact, the avian feeds almost exclusively on a few types of figs native to its habitat. The precise reason for this adaptation currently eludes researchers. But, the confusing variety of parrot does occasionally consume small quantities of flowers and nectar.
The truly fascinating creature possesses even more intriguing aspects to its nature than these facts, however. The distinctive bird also evolved a strongly nomadic pattern of behavior. It does this in accordance with the availability fruits, as the seasons change.
Researchers think that the unusual lack of feathers on the head of the Pesquet’s Parrot developed as an adaptation for a surprising reason. Nature designed this attribute to prevent complications with feathers from the juice of the fruit it consumes.
Unfortunately, experts still know very little about its mating habits in the wild. It appears to generally live in small groups of up to 20 individuals. Following mating, the female places her eggs in a large nest in a hollow tree. A typical lifespan in the wild is about 9 years.
Victoria Crowned Pigeon
Victoria Crowned Pigeon Facts
- Our second entry into this compilation of 3 Bewildering New Guinea Birds is the fabulous species known as the Victoria Crowned Pigeon.
- Perhaps most impressively, this truly awesome bird currently ranks as the largest known type of pigeon in the world. This remarkable avian also represents one of only four unique, and each comparatively quite large, species of pigeon in its genus.
- The truly distinctive creature also happens to share a relatively unusual trait with the other members of its genus. That’s because, like them, this fascinating and amazing variety of pigeon actually spends the great majority of its life on the ground.
- Individuals of this species will, however, take flight if sufficiently disturbed. But, that flight typically only extends to the nearest tree canopy. There, the fascinating animal usually just takes shelter for as long as necessary, often making raucous noises.
- The Victoria Crowned Pigeon now faces the threat of extinction. This occurs primarily due to a combination of habitat loss and hunting. Its population now numbers fewer than 20,000 individuals, thus the IUCN now lists it as Near Threatened.
Victoria Crowned Pigeon Physical Description
The dazzling Victoria Crowned Pigeon truly forms a giant of its kind. That’s true since this breathtaking bird averages a body length of about 30 in (75 cm). Exceptional individuals, though, sometimes reach 31 in (80 cm). Large individuals weigh as much as 7.7 lb (3.5 kg).
Yet its sheer size isn’t the only remarkable trait of this magnificent animal. Quite uniquely, it also boasts a gorgeous feather crest. This also typically presents a brilliant blue in color, with the ends of the feathers commonly being tipped in a bright white.
The body itself most often presents a deep gray-blue in color, and a small black mask-like feature also appears on the face. The wings display a lighter shade of blue, with conspicuous maroon colored tips. The bird displays no noticeable degree of sexual dimorphism.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Columbiformes
- Family: Columbidae
- Genus: Goura
- Species: G. victoria
Victoria Crowned Pigeon Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Like numerous other species, the magnificent Victoria Crowned Pigeon only inhabits a very limited area. In its case, that area mainly consists of the northern sections of New Guinea, near Australia. However, it also inhabits a few small neighboring islands.
Even within this already limited range, this fabulous bird usually only appears on specific habitat types within the region. These mainly include areas of lowlands and swamp forests, but the bird will also sometimes appear in regions of sago forests.
Interestingly, it also most commonly lives either near or at approximate sea level. Some individuals, though, will occasionally appear at altitudes of as much as 3,000 ft (914 m). These specimens, though, usually have only ventured to the area temporarily.
Much like its numerous related species, the beautiful Victoria Crowned Pigeon evolved as a highly gregarious animal. Because of this, it rarely moves alone. Most often, it travels in small groups, at a slow pace, along the floor of the forest.
Although it primarily eats fruit, it also feeds on small invertebrates and seeds on occasion. Its favorite fruit consists of figs, though it will consume other fruit if readily available. Seeds and invertebrates it consumes opportunistically, with no noticeable preference.
- The third and final selection for inclusion in this compendium of 3 Bewildering New Guinea Birds is the remarkable creature named the Cassowary.
- Perhaps most notably, the term for it actually applies to an entire genus of large flightless birds. Currently, three species still exist, however. The species named the Southern Cassowary, though, remains by far the most common of the three varieties.
- These magnificent creatures stand out for several reasons. For one, among known similar birds, this fascinating animal ranks as the second heaviest, and also third tallest of them all. Those distinctions alone serve to distinguish them from their peers.
- Yet their distinctiveness doesn’t simply end there. That’s due to the fact that the truly unique birds generally remain quite reclusive. The fascinating avians also continue to prove themselves to be highly elusive, making detailed studies complicated.
- But, the impressive species further remains quite shy, in terms of behavior, even more so than most wild animals. Due to this trait, the large bird also continues to be well known for its ability to rapidly disappear into the dense rainforest when approached.
- The surprising animal generally has a remarkably shy demeanor, as well, when encounters do occur. If provoked, however, the creature does has the ability to inflict serious, possibly even fatal, injuries to humans. That’s because of their powerful legs.
- For the moment, the IUCN has no listing for any of the species of Cassowary on its Red List. They do face various threats, however. Habitat loss represents a growing problem, as with many creatures. And of course, climate change poses a potential threat.
Cassowary Physical Description
Like many creatures around the world, the amazing species displays a comparatively moderate degree of sexual dimorphism. Due to this physiological trait, among all three species of Cassowary, the female typically develops as the larger of the two genders.
But regardless of this, most males still typically attain a remarkable average height of around 5.9 ft (1.8 m). Females, meanwhile, often reach a height of as much as 6.6 ft (2 m). Large females, in point of fact, sometimes weigh as much as an amazing 129 lb (58.5 kg).
The feathers of females also generally appear more colorful than those of the males. Their wings remain vestigial and also extremely small. The legs of this bird develop as rather powerful. Individuals have the ability to run at speeds of as much as 31 mph (50 km/h).
The fabulous Cassowary also has a long, sharp claw on the middle of each of the three toes. This claw sometimes grows to a length of as much as 5 in (12.6 cm). This serves as a very powerful means of self defense, since the bird can strike with great force and accuracy.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Casuariiformes
- Family: Casuariidae
- Genus: Casuariius
Cassowary Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Unfortunately for those who appreciate these creatures, the amazing Cassowary evolved as endemic to a range that’s both highly limited and specific. That’s due to the fact that this marvel of Nature and evolution evolved as native to the extremely wet and humid rainforest.
Sadly, it also only occurs naturally in a few very specific areas. These regions include the island nation of New Guinea, northeastern Australia, and local islands. For the moment, experts have been unable to find any evidence of it ever existing outside that range.
These animals also have a tendency to wander into grasslands, savanna, and swampy regions in search of food. Except for mating season, the beautiful avian usually lives as a solitary animal. Males further appear to be highly territorial, and females seem to be less so.
The amazing bird also possesses the aability to deliver a serious, even fatal blow with its dangerous claw. Though attacks on humans rarely occur, there have been serious injuries, even fatalities reported. Nature designed it with a means of defending itself quite well.
Like many related species, the Cassowary evolved as primarily frugivorous in its eating habits. Sometimes, though, individuals also supplement that diet with the occasional flower, snail, frog, small rodents, etc. These the animal typically feeds on opportunistically.
3 Bewildering New Guinea Birds
We sincerely hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed reding this article about 3 Bewildering New Guinea Birds. It’s also our hope that you have come away from it with not only an increased knowledge of the such creatures, but also a realization of their importance.
Lamentably, however, many of their related species, along with innumerable other species around the world, now find themselves in peril. It remains up to each and every one of us to do all that we can to preserve and protect them for our posterity to enjoy.