Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Red-breasted Pygmy-parrot (Micropsitta bruijnii)


French: Micropsitte de Bruijn German: Rotbrust-Spechtpapagei Spanish: Microloro pechirrojo

Nasiterna bruijnii


, 1875,

Mount Arfak, New Guinea


Race pileata known in museums from only three male skins, none of which shows great differences from range of variation present in nominate race. A distinct yellow-crowned form has been noted in Ok Tedi region of Papua New Guinea. Possible undescribed subspecies in Obi (NC Moluccas)#R. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. b. buruensis Arndt, 1999 – Buru (S Moluccas).
  • M. b. pileata Mayr, 1940 – Seram (S Moluccas).
  • M. b. bruijnii (Salvadori, 1875) – mountains of New Guinea from Vogelkop Peninsula in W to Huon Peninsula and Owen Stanley Range in E.
  • M. b. necopinata E. J. O. Hartert, 1925 – New Britain and New Ireland (Bismarck Archipelago).
  • M. b. rosea Mayr, 1940 – Bougainville, Guadalcanal and Kolambangara (Solomon Is).
  • Individuals recently recorded in Obi (NC Moluccas) possibly of a new subspecies#R.

    Descriptive notes

    8–9 cm; 12–16 g. Forehead rusty shading to dull blue on hind-crown, nape, sides of neck and frontal half-collar; face yellow shading redder on ear-coverts; breast... read more


    Calls comprise short, high-pitched and often slightly buzzy notes such as “tzeee” or “tsit”. Also... read more


    Canopy of dense hill forest at 700 m, cloud forest at 1300 m, moss forest at 2000 m; range... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food gleaned methodically from on or under bark in upper branches of trees, sometimes with regular mechanical pecking action, but stomach... read more


    Dec–Apr. Nest is hole in dead stump or tree, 3–4 m from ground; one was apparently attended by a male and two females.


    Probably nomadic, although in places possibly a regular migrant, e.g. reportedly an annual visitor... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Usually considered uncommon to rare on Seram and Buru, but easily overlooked. Widespread but local in New Guinea; undescribed form at Ok... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Boesman, P. (2019). Red-breasted Pygmy-parrot (Micropsitta bruijnii). 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 16 September 2019).