Sunday, March 15, 2009

Parrotlet Videos: Intruder Male

Pairs of Green-rumped Parrotlets (Forpus passerinus) that have bonded and claimed a nest box must always be vigilant against intruders. In these videos, a lone male is pushing the limits of a pair at a nest box. He is probably not looking to takeover the box itself, for he is alone, but instead is interested in the female.

In the first video, after the pair drives the lone male away from the box, he retreats down the fence and watches from a distance. When the pair male enters the box and the female is on the perch, he makes his move, working his way down the fence towards her. This is a good video to check out the 'slow lift' wing-flashing behavior, in which males flash their indigo blue wing patches and make certain calls directed at females (Waltman and Beissinger 1992). When the lone male gets too close, the pair drive him away again.

The lone male makes a second attempt while the pair is inside the nest box. He approaches and investigates the nest box, giving head bowing, tail fanning, and slow lift wing flashing displays while calling. The pair once again have to drive him away, although it takes them a surprisingly long time to come up from the bottom of the nest box.

Videos courtesy of Rae Okawa

Up next: Trouble with the neighbors


Waltman JR, Beissinger SR (1992) Breeding behavior of the Green-rumped Parrotlet. Wilson Bulletin 104(1):65-84 (Available as a free pdf via SORA)

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