A parrot comparable in size to a large cockatoo with an outsize beak once inhabited the island of Rodrigues. An almost complete skull of this creature has been found and this relic can be matched with an account in the anonymous document – written around 1725 – known as the Relation de l’Ile Rodrigue. This account describes a long-tailed parrot with a large head.
The writer suggests that the species was green in colour and lived on islets to the south of the main island. Probably it had been penned back to these refuges on account of the incursions of rats. To find water the parrots had to fly across to the main island of Rodrigues itself, surely an indication that the islets would not have been the birds’ first and original choice as a home. Individuals were seen eating small black seeds from a tree that smelled of lemons. Probably the species became extinct during the late eighteenth century.
Ann. Sci. Nat. Zool. Ser. 5, no. 8: 151.