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Pygmy parrot

A thumb-sized parrot is found in Papua New Guinea.

Correction 10 September 2009: Since the Lost Land of the Volcano programme was broadcast on Tuesday 8 September, we've learnt that this parrot may have been mis-identified. Ornithologist Dr Jack Dumbacher now believes the parrots filmed may be yellow-capped pygmy parrots (Micropsitta keiensis), not buff-faced pygmy parrots (Micropsitta pusio). At an average height of 9 to 9.5cm, the closely-related yellow-capped pygmy parrots are slightly taller than buff-faced pygmy parrots.

The world's smallest species of parrot, the buff-faced pygmy parrot, is found in the forests of Papua New Guinea. To capture this little bird in action is a waiting game for cameraman Gordon Buchanan. Smaller than some of the insects which live in these forests, the pygmy parrots are barely larger than Gordon's thumb. They have true parrot feet with two toes facing forward and two behind, and like other parrots the male and female pairs have a strong bond, appearing affectionate and constantly reaffirming their relationship.

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3 minutes

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