Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Critically Endangered

Sulu Racquet-tail (Prioniturus verticalis)


French: Palette des Sulu German: Sulu-Spatelschwanzpapagei Spanish: Lorito momoto de las Sulu
Other common names: Blue-winged Racquet-tail, Blue-winged Racquet-tailed Parrot

Prioniturus verticalis


, 1893,

Tawitawi, Sibutu and Bongao, Sulu Archipelago, Philippines


Part of the P. discurus clade (see below). Was previously thought possibly to belong to a group containing P. waterstradti, P. montanus and P. platenae. Sometimes still treated as conspecific with P. montanus, but case recently made for species status#R#R. Monotypic.


Sulu Archipelago, in SW Philippines. Possibly persists only on Tawitawi; at least historically, found also on smaller islands of Tumindao (no recent records), Sibutu, Manuk Manka (no recent records), Bongao (considered probably extinct) and Sanga-Sanga (probably extinct).

Descriptive notes

28–30 cm, plus racquets of 5–6 cm. Green parrot with racquet-like tail extensions, bright blue-green head, sky-blue crown and whitish-grey or bluish-grey bill,... read more


Vocalizations similarly varied to other Prioniturus, including harsh rasping “aaaaack”... read more


Primary lowland forest bird, including mangroves, forest edge adjacent to cleared and agricultural... read more

Food and feeding

No precise information.


Sept–Jan. Nest recorded in a large broken-off palm tree in a grove of palms close to forest.


No information.

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. CITES II. Restricted-range species, confined to the Sulu archipelago EBA. Population estimated in 2012 at just 50–249 mature individuals, despite... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2018). Sulu Racquet-tail (Prioniturus verticalis). 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).