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Hanging-Parrots

No other birds sleep like this!
© Johnny Wee, NatureInYourBackyard View Large

There are a dozen species of hanging-parrots — also known as bat parrots — in the tropical forests of southern Asia and Indonesia. Clad in bright greens, blues, and reds, they sleep —and sometimes bathe — upside down. No other birds sleep like this. This bizarre behavior probably protects hanging parrots from predators, which are less likely to spot a tasty morsel dangling beneath the leaves. 

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Transcript: 

BirdNote®
Hanging Parrots
Written by Rick Wright

This is BirdNote.

It’s 1752. At first, the citizens of Gothenburg, Sweden, are enchanted by the colorful little parakeet that traders have brought back from the exotic East Indies. [Song of Blue-crowned Hanging-Parrot]

But the bird soon turns sullen, as I would, too, fed on an unvarying diet of cold boiled rice. It declines to whistle, far less to speak, and spends most of its time hanging from its perch. Suspended by its gnarled little feet. Upside down. 

There are a dozen species of hanging-parrots — also known as bat parrots — in the tropical forests of southern Asia and Indonesia. Clad in bright greens, blues, and reds, they actually do sleep, even sometimes bathe, upside down. 

No other birds sleep like this.  This bizarre behavior probably protects hanging parrots from predators, which are less likely to spot a tasty morsel dangling beneath the leaves. The parrots have even evolved a way to overcome the inevitable hygienic challenge posed by sleeping upside down. When nature calls, they shift their weight to a single foot, flip the tail back, and aim. Carefully. [Song of Blue-crowned Hanging-Parrot]

For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Blue-crowned Hanging-Parrot [166172] by Sophie J. Orzechowski.
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Dominic Black
© 2016 Tune In to Nature.org    January 2016/2018/2019   Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#  BCHP-01-2016-01-28      BCHP-01

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