The three species in the Coracopsis genus are mostly black African parrots. They are native to Madagascar and other islands islands in the western Indian Ocean.

Most parrot species have some beautiful colors but the Coracopsis species are more discrete with their black or dark grey/brown plumage. Do not let the dull colors fool you – the Vasa Parrot is actually a very interesting bird so keep reading! 

Recent studies indicate that the Vasa Parrot should be moved to the Mascarinus genus but there is still some dispute on this matter; eBird/Clements Checklist has placed it in the Mascarinus genus since the 2012 edition, while most other sources still place the Vasa Parrot in the Coracopsis genus.

The Comoros Black Parrot was previously considered to be a subspecies of Coracopsis nigra klassified as C. n. sibilans  but was split into Coracopsis sibilans.


Coracopsis barklyi
Seychelles Black Parrot

Coracopsis nigra
Lesser Vasa Parrot

Coracopsis vasa
Greater Vasa Parrot

Coracopsis sibilans
Comoros Black Parrot

Coracopsis vs Mascarinus

In recent years there has been some disbute about the classification of the Coracopsis species and subspecies.

Recent studies suggest that the Vasa parrots should be moved to the Mascarinus genus but there is some debate as to the validity of these studies; the official classification according to [IOC] is still Coracopsis while [Clements] uses the Mascarinus classification.

Some sources also mention Coracopsis vasa makawa as a subspecie of Greater Vasa Parrot but this is not recognized by [IOC] or [Clements].