Endemic subspecies: Brown-throated parakeet

Brown-throated parakeet eating a Leucaena leucocephala seedpod.

Brown-throated parakeets on Curacao, an endemic subspecies of the island, have a wide variety of plants that form part of their daily diet. Either fruits, flowers or even plant leaves can be part of their daily food choices.

A particular favorite of them is the Leucaena leucocephala or Tumbá rabu as it is called in Papiamentu. The birds love to eat the flower pods and also the young seed pods of this plant, which has been introduced on the island in the past to feed livestock as well as humans. Some parts of the plant are edible to humans, such as the very young seedpods, however when they mature they can contain toxins that are unhealthy to humans. The birds however have a better stomach for these toxins and will also eat the older pods. Although the younger juicy ones are favored.

ENGLISH: Brown-throated parakeet
NEDERLANDS: Maisparkiet
SCIENTIFIC: Eupsittula pertinax pertinax

Picture by: MIchelle da Costa Gomez

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