Bird of the Week: Dracula Parrot
🎶 Bela Lugosi's Bird 🎶
Rafi here, for my first-ever entry into the illustrious Bird of the Week canon, and folks? This one is near and dear to my heart. Introducing Pesquet's parrot, or as it’s more commonly known: the Dracula parrot.1
First of all, look at this magnificent goth bastard. I mean, look at it! The deep black and vivid crimson feathers? The majestic black beak, and piercing eyes? This bird absolutely renounces god as dramatically as possible.
Dracula parrots are also big, as far as these things go: almost two and a half feet long and weighing in at nearly a pound and a half. They’re also extremely rare, living solely in New Guinea, where they are the one and only member of their genus. The fact that they resemble carrion eaters (and are sometimes called vulturine parrots despite not being actually related to vultures) only reinforces how brutally metal these things are. And speaking of “brutally metal,” Dracula parrots don’t say “Polly want a cracker?” so much as they communicate through a series of horrifying guttural shrieks and howls:
Put it all together, and you’ve got a huge rare bird that screams like Peter Murphy, looks like it’s wearing a velvet-lined cloak, and has the face of something that dines on dead meat, and, well, there you go: Dracula parrot.
The one wrinkle here—and a thing that honestly makes me love the Dracula parrot even more—is that they’re also total posers. They’re the bird version of an “Unknown Pleasures” t-shirt for sale at Hot Topic in the mall. They’re like buying The Cure’s best-of album expecting some moody vibes and hearing “Love Cats” for the first time instead.
For all their spOoOooOooky airs, these birds mostly eat a rare type of figs and other nectar-soaked vegetation. In fact, scientists think the reason they’ve got their sweet-lookin’ featherless vulture heads in the first place is to stay clean while digging in on some sticky fruit. Like most goths in my experience, when you get right down to it they’re actually total softies. Isn’t that nice?
There are, if you really want to know, a few bird breeds that do drink actual blood, but none with the style and panache of the Dracula parrot, so let’s save those for another week.