The Lesser Vasa Parrot or Black Parrot Coracopsis nigra is a black coloured parrot native to Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, and Seychelles. It is one of two species of vasa parrots, the other being the Greater Vasa Parrot C. vasa; although, the subspecies C. n. barklyi, of the Seychelles, is sometimes split as a third species, the Seychelles Black Parrot.
The Lesser Vasa Parrot was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th century work, Systema Naturae; it was given the name of Psittacus niger, meaning "black parrot". It was later transferred to the new genus Coracopsis in 1826.
Lesser Vasa Parrots inhabit the mangrove swamps and evergreen forests of Madagascar and the Seychelles Islands. They eat seeds, blossoms and fruit - especially berries and mangos.
They build their nests in tree hollows and go through courtship in February. During this time, the female may shed the feathers on her head giving it a yellowish tone. The male's beak may also turn white during this time.
At the National Aviary feeding.
There are three of four subspecies depending on classification systems:
- Coracopsis nigra, (Linnaeus) 1758
- Coracopsis nigra libs, Bangs 1927
- Coracopsis nigra nigra, (Linnaeus) 1758
- Coracopsis nigra sibilans, Milne-Edwards & Oustalet 1885
- Coracopsis nigra barklyi, Newton 1867
Coracopsis nigra sibilans and Coracopsis nigra barklyi are considered a single subspecies by some authors.