Golden-tailed Parrotlets

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The Golden-tailed Parrotlet (Touit surdus) is endemic to southeast Brazil from southern Bahia and southern Goiás south to Rio de Janeiro and southern Sao Paulo. There have been reports of isolated populations around Recife, Pernambuco.

Their natural habitat includes the Atlantic coastal forests up to 500 m (1,700 ft). To a lesser degree, they may be found in areas with partially destroyed habitat and tall secondary vegetation.

The Golden-tailed Parrotlets are described as shy, and they are mostly seen flying. When perched in the trees, they are well camouflaged by their plumage in the foliage. They prefer the highest branches of tall trees.


Status

Unfortunately, these parrolets are very rare and only found in few localities. Its population is small and declining due to ongoing deforestation and resulting loss of habitat. Its population is estimated to be less than 5,000 birds. However, some report that this species may be more resilient to forest fragmentation than first assumed, and it may be under-recorded - particularly in the southern part of its range.


Sub-species (?):

  • Berla's Golden-tailed Parrotlets (Touit surda ruficauda) - described by Berla in 1954 - however, investigation of skin material shows it to be identical to surda
    • Range: Eastern Brazil - allegedly occurring around Recife

Description:

  • Size: 16 cm (6.25 ins) long - including tail

  • The plumage of the Golden-tailed Parrotlet is generally green. The breast and abdomen are more yellowish-green.
    • There is a narrow band to the forehead, lores (the region between the eye and bill on the side of a bird's head) and upper cheeks; as well as a narrow, golden-yellow stripe below the eye.
    • The nape (back of the neck) has a faint olive tinge.
    • The shoulders are pale olive-brown.
    • The lower back is bluish-green.
    • The sides of the body are greenish-yellow.
    • Wings: The primary wing feathers are brown and the flight-feathers are brown with green outer webs and black tips. The underside of the wings dull green.
    • Tail: Short, square tail. The middle tail-feathers are green with black tips. The outer tail-feathers are brownish-yellow with black tips.

  • They have grey periophthalmic rings (rings around the eyes). The irises are grey. The feet are grey and the bill is yellowish-horn color with a grey base.

  • Females look like males, but her outer tail-feathers are greenish-yellow with green tips.

  • Immatures not described, but probably like females.

  • Similar Species: The Brown-backed Parrotlet (T. melanonota) can be distinguished by its dark brown back and bright red sides of tail. The Pileated Parrot (Pionopsitta pileata) is larger and the male has a red patch on his forehead.

Calls / Vocalization

Their calls are described as high-pitched, strident rattle sounds.


Diet / Feeding:

Little is known about their natural diet, but it is likely that it consists of various fruits, berries, seeds and tiny nuts.


Breeding / Aviculture:

These parrotlets are rare and unknown in captivity. Any captive individual (that cannot be released) should be part of a well-managed conservation program to ensure this species' continued existence.


Taxonomy:

Genus: Scientific: Touit ... English: Spotted-tailed Parrotlets ... Dutch: Bontstaartpapegaaien ... German: Buntschwanzpapageien ... French: Perroquet à dos couleurs

Species: Scientific: Touit surda surda ... English: Golden-tailed Parrotlet ... Dutch: Goudstaartpapegaai ... German: Goldschwanzpapagei, Gelbschwanzpapagei ... French: Perroquet à queue d'or ... CITES II - Endangered Species



Sub-species (?):


Berla's Golden-tailed Parrotlets (?):

Described by Berla in 1954 - however, investigation of skin material shows it to be identical to surda

Genus: Scientific: Touit ... English: Spotted-tailed Parrotlets ... Dutch: Bontstaartpapegaaien ... German: Buntschwanzpapageien ... French: Perroquet à dos couleurs

Species: Scientific: Touit surda ruficauda ... English: Berla's Golden-tailed Parrotlet ... Dutch: Berla's Goudstaartpapegaai ... German: Berlas Goldschwanzpapagei ... French: Perroquet à queue d'or recelfé ... CITES II - Endangered Species

Distribution: Eastern Brazil - allegedly occurring around Recife


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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