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Manu Minute: The rose-ringed parakeet

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Rose-ringed parakeets are bright, emerald green birds with orange-red hooked bills and long, pointed tails. Males have red or black neck rings, hence their name.
Alex Wang
/
HPR
Rose-ringed parakeets are bright, emerald green birds with orange-red hooked bills and long, pointed tails. Males have red or black neck rings, hence their name.

What to learn our new favorite bird word?

Zygodactylous.

This delightful spelling bee stumper has to do with some bird's feet, specifically "having the first and fourth toes directed backward and the second and third forward."

Having zygodactyl feet is just one of the striking qualities of the rose-ringed parakeet, which is also known for its emerald-green plumage and its deafening squawk.

Rose-ringed parakeets also have the distinction of being one of the most widespread parrot species in the world. Since their introduction to Hawaiʻi as pets in the 1960s, escaped parakeets have formed sizable wild populations on Kauaʻi and Oʻahu.

Though beautiful, these birds are formidable agricultural pests. Lawmakers are currently working to pass a bill that would establish an interagency task force to explore short- and long-term solutions to the growing number of parakeets on Kauaʻi.

AMTJ_Manu Minute_ Rose-ringed parakeet Spectrogram Video.mp4

Audio credit: Peter Boesman, Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (ML284196)

Patrick Hart is the host of HPR's Manu Minute. He runs the Listening Observatory for Hawaiian Ecosystems (LOHE) Lab at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson is the Lab Manager & Research Technician in the Hart Lab/Listening Observatory for Hawaiian Ecosystems (LOHE) Bioacoustics Lab. She researches the ecology, bioacoustics, and conservation of our native Hawaiian forests, birds, and bats.
Savannah Harriman-Pote is the energy and climate change reporter. She is also the lead producer of HPR's "This Is Our Hawaiʻi" podcast. Contact her at sharrimanpote@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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