Meet the glorious parrot sometimes known as the “Dracula Parrot”.
Pesquet’s Parrot, also known as Dracula Parrot or the vulturine parrot, is a bird endemic to hill and montane rainforest in New Guinea. With it’s black and red plumage and vulture-like appearance, this bird is truly remarkable.
Despite it’s name and vulture-like visage, the Dracula Parrot is actually not bloodthirsty at all. It feeds almost exclusively on just a few species of figs, and with such a specialized diet it’s one of the creatures that was threatened before it was ever designated “vulnerable”.
Now, if you are looking to see a bird that is truly vampiric, look no further than the vampire finch…
The Galápagos Islands are famous for their finches, which ultimately inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Of these 15 finches, one finch has acquired a taste for blood. Specifically, the blood of other birds. This finch, known as the vampire finch, is a subspecies of the sharp-beaked ground finch (Geospiza difficilis), and it is endemic to Wolf and Darwin Islands in the Galápagos.
Generally, vampire finches are not much different from normal finches. Their diet primarily consists of seeds and invertebrates as well as nectar from the Galápagos prickly pear.
Yet, due to the lack of freshwater on their native island homes, vampire finches must acquire fluids from other sources. Thus, they target other, bigger birds, such as Nazcas and blue-footed boobies, and peck at their wings and tail feathers to draw blood out from underneath.
In addition vampire finches, there is another bird has gained a reputation for bloodlust…
Meet the kea. This fascinating bird is one of ten parrots endemic to New Zealand, where it is found only in the mountains of the South Island.
With their long, curved beaks, they can rip the wool off the backs of sheep and tear the fat out from underneath. Sometimes, this destructive behavior actually kills the sheep.
Keas are omnivores, so sheep aren’t their only prey. In addition to sheep, rabbits, and other mammals, they feed upon 40 species of plant, beetle larva, human garbage, and even other birds. But, in another dark twist, if they hear shearwater chicks in a nest, they will break into the nest and devour them. Yikes.