Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Blue-crowned Racquet-tail (Prioniturus discurus)


French: Palette à couronne bleue German: Philippinen-Spatelschwanzpapagei Spanish: Lorito momoto coroniazul
Other common names: Blue-crowned Racquet-tailed Parrot

Psittacus discurus


, 1822,

Mindanao, Philippines


Recent phylogenetic study indicates that this species is part of a clade which contains also P. verticalis, P. flavicans and P. luconensis#R. Sometimes considered conspecific with P. flavicans (but recent reinforcement of split#R#R). Until recently was considered conspecific with P. mindorensis (which see), and previously with P. platenae, but molecular study#R indicates that those belong in a different clade. Races may represent two distinct species#R; further studies, using additional data and specimens, are required in order to clarify taxonomic status, especially of apparently intermediate forms in Samar and Leyte. Proposed race nesophilus (Catanduanes I) here considered synonym of whiteheadi; suluensis (Sulu Archipelago) included within nominate. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. d. whiteheadi Salomonsen, 1953 – N & CE Philippines (S Luzon and Catanduanes S to Tablas, Sibuyan, Masbate, Ticao, Panay, Guimaras, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Biliran, Samar and Leyte).
  • P. d. discurus (Vieillot, 1822) – SE & SC Philippines (Mindanao, Balut, Olutanga, Basilan and Jolo).
  • Descriptive notes

    27 cm; 86–176 g. Crown to hindneck pale blue; rest of face to chin and nape apple green; underparts yellowish green; back and wings darker green; undersides of flight-... read more


    Generally similar to vocalizations of P. luconensis. Especially noisy in flight: assorted... read more


    Primary and secondary forest up to 1750 m, but mostly below 1500 m, especially on islands where it... read more

    Food and feeding

    Poorly documented; apparently fond of bananas, inflicting damage on unripe crops adjacent to forest. Repeated presence in Ficus,... read more


    Season Apr–May on Negros, Mar–May on Panay, May on Leyte; pair “billing” in Feb, Mindanao, where nesting behaviour... read more


    Birds arrived on Calicoan, off S Samar, in midsummer after breeding, becoming commoner into Sept... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Population considered to be stable, but remains unquantified. Generally common even in degraded habitat on largely deforested islands such... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Blue-crowned Racquet-tail (Prioniturus discurus). 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 20 September 2019).