Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Black Parrot (Coracopsis nigra)


French: Vaza noir German: Rabenpapagei Spanish: Loro negro
Other common names: Lesser Vasa Parrot

Psittacus niger


, 1758,

eastern Madagascar


Until recently treated as conspecific with C. barklyi and C. sibilans. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. n. libs Bangs, 1927 – W & S Madagascar.
  • C. n. nigra (Linnaeus, 1758) – N & E Madagascar.
  • Introduced (presumably nominate race) to Mauritius.

    Descriptive notes

    35–40 cm; 215–315 g (nominate nigra). Dark brown, with greyish-brown undertail-coverts and grey cast to primaries, bill dusky. When breeding, plumage has... read more


    Can be vocal at night, especially on moonlit nights, but mainly calls morning and evening, with... read more


    Dense humid and waterlogged forest including mangroves, but also savanna, dry and spiny forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits, berries, flowers and seeds; at study site in SE Madagascar, of 40 foodplant species (just one of them exotic, Psidium guajava... read more


    Season usually starts late Nov, but egg-laying occurs Oct–Jan and chick-rearing continues until Mar. Nests in hollow limbs or tree-... read more


    Sedentary, but with daily dispersals in search of food.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Common and population apparently stable on Madagascar, though less so than C. vasa in W, reverse is true in E; in 19th century... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Black Parrot (Coracopsis nigra). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 March 2018).