The magical Transformation of the Vasa Parrot

Birds Human Classroom

The vasa parrot known for having a peculiar plumage, even if it is not colorful as other parrots their style makes him beloved, some people may consider him ugly but others like him and even find him cute, even if his physique is not striking, he has a very beloved personality that makes him adaptable as a pet. This bird also has a peculiarity of changing the color of its plumage in autumn and make it different from other parishes. These birds need to have enough space to move and play, you must also take into consideration that it is a bird that needs a time out of the cage and interact with their owners, so this is something to take note of before having a Vasa Parrot. If you are interested in knowing more about this bird, I invite you to continue reading.

ORIGIN

Vasa parrot has as its scientific name of the genus Coracopsis, belongs to the species of psittaciform bird and family of the Psittacidae. This bird comes from the eastern coast of Africa on Madagascar island, in the Comoros Islands, and surrounding islands in the western Indian Ocean. It is divided into two species, the Greater Vasa Parrot (Coracopsis vasa) and the Lesser Vasa Parrot (Coracopsis nigra) also known as the Black Parrot. Although these species live in the same countries, each one likes to live in a different habitat, the Greater Vasa parrot can be found more in the area of Madagascar dry deciduous forest and the Lesser Vasa parrot likes to be more in humid forest areas. It has also been recognized that the Vasa Parrot has 3 subspecies:

  • Coracopsis drougardi
  • Coracopsis  vasa vasa
  • Coracopsis comorensis

FEATURES AND PERSONALITY

Perroquet vaza. en captivitÈ dans un village Famille des PsittaculidÈs. Ordre : Psittaciformes

It is a medium-sized parrot that is usually compared to the African Greys because of its size but the Vasa has different physical features than the African Grey. They have a life expectancy above 30 years. The Vasa parrots are about 20 inches long and weigh about 17 oz, although the male is a little smaller than the female. This bird is characterized by having long physical, they have long necks which specifically draws attention, they have small heads, long legs, and long rectangular blunted tail feathers. Something very peculiar in this bird without losing its feathers, is that the colors of its plumage at the beginning are of gray and black tones equally with a grayish-black beak but when it begins a breeding season that is from October to December the female vasa parrot changes its plumage to a light brown color, the feathers of its head fall down being bald, and its skin of the head changes to a yellowing color. In the male vasa parrot also their skin changes to yellow but the feathers don’t drop so the female is more notable for her baldness and their beaks during this breeding season change to whiter tones.

Vasa parrots are birds that are very active, and they like to move around a lot, play, keep busy, and have a very friendly and loving personality, they like to interact with all family members, play with them and establish special bonds with everyone. This grey parrot is very intelligent so keeping them active, giving them their time out of the cage, and devoting a lot of attention to them is very important for their mental health, try not to leave your pet alone too much, as it requires their daily attention. These parrots like to enjoy bathing in water so don’t forget to always leave him his bathtub with fresh and clean water. Female vasa parrot in breeding season tends to be more sensitive, temperamental, territorial to the male vasa parrot.  It has been seen in the wildlife that vasa parrots are not monogamous and females can have different males. Unlike many parrots, vasa parrots are not very noisy but make certain noises to call or communicate such as whistles, squawks, or other sounds, although it has been seen that also in the breeding season they tend to be noisier.

CARE AND FEEDING

Due to the fact that the vasa parrot is a very active bird, its cage will need all the necessary space that allows it to move and should allow them to extend their wings completely without rubbing against the bars, and be able to move them freely and doesn’t have difficulty. The measures for the cage must be at least 36 inches wide by 24 inches deep with 36 inches tall. The bars in the cage shouldn’t have too much space between them because they can get their heads between the bars to get stuck and they can suffocate. Also, make sure that the bars are a hard material because it can bite them constantly and damage the bars, but make sure that they are not made of toxic materials. Always remember to keep the cage clean, at least wash the cage completely once a week and make sure that the soap doesn’t have toxic elements that could endanger the life of your pet, and let it dry well.  Also, don’t forget to leave him his bathtub with water so he can enjoy a good bath.

You should make sure that your Vasa Parrot stays entertained and you can provide it with toys that are suitable for birds, ropes with knots, perches, or wooden sticks of various sizes and textures, some large stones that can help it to keep its toenails healthy. Just try to keep the perches away from food and water dishes to avoid contamination or dirt.  Include a nesting box large enough for your Vasa Parrot. You should always keep the cages with access to natural light because they love to sunbathe and as any bird likes to fly, so take it out of its cage daily and let it fly indoors so they can do some exercise, and at least give it a few hours out of the free fly. This is very important for the Vasa parrot because if you can allow him to spend more time outside than inside, his cage it is better for this kind of bird and more for the level of attention needed, but you should always be very careful and watch it because accidents can happen as it is intoxicated or electrocution. If you have other pets avoid attacking it or even drowning, on the other hand, make sure that if you let it fly indoors you can also let him do it in a safe room away from these risks and you can be more relaxed.

Like many other parrot species, the Vasa parrot is a great foodie, they eat large quantities of food especially a variety of fresh fruit and veggies like bananas, berries, pomegranates, mangos, green beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, and much more. Also, it’s recommended that they have a high-quality pelleted diet or high-quality seed mix because they are created to be a balanced and nutritionally complete food, you have to make sure that it has natural ingredients including that it contains vitamins and minerals that help to maintain good health for your pet bird. 

HEALTH

Vasas are birds that in general are in very good health as long as they are given the care they deserve, they are prone to get the psittacine beak and feather disease, which comes from a virus called Circoviru and can cause long-term immunosuppression as well as cause feather and beak abnormalities. It doesn’t have a cure and can be very fatal, it affects wild and domestic birds, and the only way to control this virus is prevention, and infected birds should be kept isolated from non-infected birds as the disease is easily transmitted.

Also in case of negligence, this bird can be prone to present a destructive attitude to their plumage that is known as “feather plucking” if a check is made and the veterinarian discards a physical cause, this may be caused by the stress that the bird must have because of boredom or the lifestyle it has, due to the lack of mental stimulation. This can be avoided if you give them a good lifestyle that allows them to exercise, move around or climb nets, or simply enjoy playing and enjoying their toys.

BREEDING

In the wild the Vasa parrot as I said before they have their breeding season in fall between October and December, they build their nests in hollow trees and the female vasa stay in their nest in the whole process until a little after they are born to protect and take care of their chicks. During this process when the mother is hungry she starts calling the male by sounds to feed her. Depending on the type of Vasa species, the number of eggs and days of incubation varies. The lesser Vasa parrot lays an average of 2 to 5 eggs and has an incubation period of 14 days, the shortest period among the parrots, while the Greater Vasa parrot lays an average of 2 to 4 eggs and has an incubation period of 17 days. Due to the large amount of food the vasa chicks eat, their feathering and flight development process is about 45 to 50 days, compared to other parishes which can be up to 80 days.

To obtain a Vasa parrot pet is a little complicated to obtain because it is rare to get them, you can get them in some pet stores or special bird stores, but my personal recommendation is that you should go to a Vasa parrot breeder because with an honest breeder you can be sure that it was raised in the best conditions, that it is in good health and that it has been raised in a humane environment, also before buying it make sure in all possible ways that your bird is in good health. Although it is unlikely, you can also go to a bird rescue group or local animal shelters to see if they have a Vasa parrot available for adoption, so you can give your bird a second chance to be with your family.

Although it is a rare species to have it as a pet, and if you have the opportunity to have this bird, you must assume the responsibility to give it all the care it deserves, it is an intelligent bird that needs daily affection and attention, good health care and hygiene, but as a reward, you will have a great loving companion, who will enjoy moments with you and can even learn a few words, maybe you will be surprised by a talkative Vasa parrot, you will not regret your decision.

If you have any questions or if you think I’ve missed anything please let me know in the comment section down below.

Professor Whiskers

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