Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Great-billed Parrot (Tanygnathus megalorynchos)


French: Perruche à bec de sang German: Schwarzschulterpapagei Spanish: Loro picogordo

Psittacus megalorynchos


, 1783,

New Guinea (= West Papuan Islands?)


Possibly forms a species-pair with T. lucionensis. Nominate race exhibits much variation, some apparently clinal; now considered to include proposed races viridipennis, djampeae, floris, obiensis, batchianensis, fuliginosus and insularum. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. m. megalorynchos (Boddaert, 1783) – Talaud, Sangihe, Siau, islands off NE Sulawesi, Togian Is, and Tukangbesi Is S to Tanahjampea, Kalao, Kalaotoa, Madu and Flores (Lesser Sundas), and E through N & C Moluccas (Morotai, Halmahera and most of satellites, Bacan, Bisa, Obi) to W Papuan Is (Waigeo, Batanta, Misool) and other islands off W New Guinea; present also on Balut and Sarangani, off S Mindanao (SE Philippines), where possibly introduced; specimens from N Sulawesi may have been wanderers or introductions, while sight records open to question.
  • T. m. affinis Wallace, 1863 – S Moluccas (Buru, Seram, Ambon, Haruku, Seram Laut).
  • T. m. sumbensis A. B. Meyer, 1882 – Sumba, in W Lesser Sundas.
  • T. m. hellmayri Mayr, 1944 – Roti, Semao and SW Timor, in WC Lesser Sundas.
  • T. m. subaffinis P. L. Sclater, 1883 – Babar and Tanimbar Is, in E Lesser Sundas.
  • Descriptive notes

    33–43 cm. Enormous bill red; head, nape and mantle bright green, shading to pale blue on back and rump and to yellowish on underparts, with yellow flanks, underwing-... read more


    Quite vocal. Most calls involve repeated loud nasal squawks or screeches, e.g. “kee-aw…kee-aw..” or... read more


    Primary and secondary lowland evergreen forest, preferably with a rather open structure and with a... read more

    Food and feeding

    The fruit of Sonneratia alba reportedly much favoured, also Canarium vulgare and casuarinas; a green lemon-sized fruit... read more


    Nest-sites apparently occupied, Aug–Sept; Aug–Sept on Sumba. Nest in hole in very tall deciduous tree. No information on clutch... read more


    Apparently often travels between adjacent small islands, but this is presumably generally only a... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Seram may hold 100,000 birds, and the species is still in healthy numbers on Tanahjampea, Flores Sea; Buru has been reckoned to hold c.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2018). Great-billed Parrot (Tanygnathus megalorynchos). 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 22 March 2018).