Red-winged Parrotlets or Blue-fronted Parrotlets

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The Red-winged Parrotlet (Touit dilectissimus) is also known as the Blue-fronted Parrotlet. Older sources list the Red-fronted Parrotlet (T. costaricensis) as sub-species of the Red-winged Parrotlet. Most modern authors consider them two species.


Distribution:

The Red-winged Parrotlet is endemic to South America where it can be found in central Panama east across northern Colombia to North-western Venezuela (with a population around and south of Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela), as well as along western slopes of eastern Andes to northwestern Ecuador.

These parrotlets usually frequent humid, wet and cloud forests from 800 to 1600 m. On occasion, they move down as low as 100 m.

This parrotlet is a rare find. It is difficult to spot as it is well camouflaged by its green plumage and it spends most of its time up high in the canopy. The most common way this parrotlet is spotted is when it is in flight.


Description

Length:

They average 15 - 17 cm or 5.9 - 6.7 inches in length, including its short tail.

Males:

His general plumage is green. The breast and abdomen are yellowish-green. They have a narrow red band to the forehead, lores (the region between the eye and bill on the side of a bird's head) and stripe below eyes. The upper cheeks and the feathers below the red eye-stripe and forecrown are dull blue. The crown and nape (back of the neck) have a bronze tinge. The bend of the wing, lesser wing-coverts, outer median-coverts, inner primary wing feathers and edge of wing are red. The outer primary wing feathers and secondaries (shorter, upper "arm" feathers) are black. The flight feathers are black with green edging to the outer webs. The under wing coverts are yellow. The middle tail-feathers are black with a green base. The outer tail-feathers are greenish-yellow with black tips. The periophthalmic ring (ring around the eyes) are whitish. The irises are brown, the feet are grey and the bill is yellowish horn-colored with grey tips.

Female:

Look like male, but have less red to the wing-coverts. The primary coverts are completely black. (Please refer to wing anatomy)

Immatures:

Look like females, but the forecrown is green with some bluish feathers. They only have a faint red band to the forehead. They lack the red and blue areas below eye that can be seen in adults. Their irises are grey.


Diet / Feeding:

Their natural diet consists of various ripe and half-ripe fruits, seeds, grass-seeds and berries.

Captive Diet: They should have available a good quality dry food mix consisting of various seeds, including wheat, oats, canary seed, various millets, weed seeds and a little sunflower. Various fresh fruits (including apples) and vegetables (i.e. carrot) as well as rose-hips and greenfood (chickweed, dandelion etc.) should also be offered daily. During the breeding season in particular, insects and various soft foods should be available as well.


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 dilectissima dilectissima ... English: Red-winged Parrotlet ... Dutch: Roodvleugelpapegaai ... German: Kronenpapagei ... French: Perroquet aux ailes rouge ... CITES II - Endangered Species


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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