Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Vasa Parrot (Coracopsis vasa)


French: Grand Vaza German: Vasapapagei Spanish: Loro vasa
Other common names: Greater Vasa Parrot

Psittacus Vasa


, 1812,

South Africa; error = east Madagascar


Sometimes placed in genus Mascarinus. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. v. comorensis (W. K. H. Peters, 1854) – Ngazidja (Grand Comoro), Mwali (Mohéli) and Ndzuani (Anjouan), in Comoro Is.
  • C. v. drouhardi Lavauden, 1929 – N, W & S Madagascar.
  • C. v. vasa (Shaw, 1812) – E Madagascar
  • Introduced (presumably nominate race) to Reunion I, but apparently died out.

    Descriptive notes

    50 cm. Dark brown, slightly lighter on underparts with pale grey undertail-coverts, greyish wing-coverts and edges to primaries; rosy grey bare area on face. Bill light brown... read more


    Quite vocal, with an extensive repertoire of screeches, nasal grating calls and pure whistles.... read more


    Less tied to forest than C. nigra, present in humid and deciduous forests, coastal plains... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits (in one case Cussonia), berries, seeds. More granivorous than C. nigra, capable of eating maize on the stalk.


    Oct–Jan. In W Madagascar uses baobabs and several nests can be simultaneously active in same tree. Eggs three; in captivity,... read more


    Probably sedentary, but moving locally in search of food. Birds often fly very high over forest,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Commoner than C. nigra in W Madagascar. Listed for 28 protected areas in Madagascar, and still fairly common in many areas. Causes... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Boesman, P. (2019). Vasa Parrot (Coracopsis vasa). 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 9 December 2019).