Sapphire-rumped Parrotlets

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The Sapphire-rumped Parrotlet (Touit purpuratus) is found in the subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and montanes, as well as subtropical or tropical swamps in southern Venezuela in southeast Bolivar and eastern Amazonas, Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana, northern Brazil in northern Maranhao west to lower Rio Negro in northwest of state of Amazonas.

They usually occur in groups of 12 to 40 birds. They are well camouflaged by their plumage and are rarely seen when roosting or foraging in the foliage. They prefer to remain high up in treetops for most of the day, but will move down to bushes, low trees and even to ground to forage. They are usually seen flying in groups and their flight has been described as swift and straight.


Description

Length:

The Sapphire-rumped Parakeet averages 17 cm or 6.75 inches in length.

Males:

The plumage is mostly green. The lower breast and abdomen are yellowish-green - more yellowish to the sides of body.

The forehead, crown, back of head and ear-coverts (feathers covering the ears) are olive-brown turning green towards the nape (back of the neck). The lower back is violet-blue and the shoulders are dark brown. The edge of the wing is violet-blue. Its flight feathers are green with black tips. The underside of the flight feathers are bluish-green. The middle tail feathers are green with black tips. The outer tail feathers are violet-red with black tips.

They have grey periophthalmic eye rings (rings around the eyes). The irises are brown. The feet are grey and the bill is yellowish horn-colored with grey tips.

Females:

Look like male, but have pale brown shoulders and the outer tail-feathers have a green band above black tips.

Immatures:

Look like females, but have a duller plumage. The lower back is olive-brown with few or no violet blue feathers.

Calls / Vocalizations:

They are usually quiet when roosting. When flying, however, they make nasal hoya or keree-ke-ke calls.


Diet / Feeding:

Their natural diet consists of various ripe and half-ripe fruits (mostly figs as well as berries), seeds and buds.

Captive diet: They should be provided plenty of fruit, especially banana, figs and berries; as well as vegetables and greenfood. Additional food items are lory porridge; half-ripe seeds; sprouted millet, canary grass seed, oats, barley and some sunflower. A vitamin and mineral supplement per veterinarian instructions should its nutritional needs not be met.


Breeding / Aviculture:

In their natural habitat, the breeding season is estimated to commence in March. These parakeets nest in dead trees or arboreal (above-ground) termite mounds. The average clutch consists of 3 to 5 eggs.

These quiet 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.

There are no reports of successful captive breeding of this species. They survived only short period in captivity and they died suddenly without discernible cause. One assumes that that their dietary needs have not been met. Suggestions have been made to provide a tall aviary to these shy birds to provide them with privacy and plenty of hiding opportunities. The environmental temperature should not be allowed to go below 20°C (68°F)


Taxonomy (Nominate Species):

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

Species: Scientific:Touit purpurata purpurata ... English: Sapphire-rumped Parrotlet ... Dutch: Paarsstaartpapegaai ... German: Purpurschwanzpapagei ... French: Perroquet à croupion blue

CITES II - Endangered Species




Sub-species:

Chapman's Sapphire-rumped Parrotlets:

Distribution: They are endemic to southern Venezuela along upper Orinoco, southeast Colombia, extreme northeast of Peru, southeast Ecuador, northeast Brazil around area of upper Rio Negro. These parrotlets are rare and only found in localities. Their numbers are declining because of deforestation and its resulting loss of habitat. They favor rain forests, partially deforested areas and open woodland areas as well as tall secondary vegetation up to 1,200 m (4,000 ft). Occasionally they frequent savannah and coastal forests in Surinam.

Description: They average 17 cm or 6.75 inches in length, including its tail. They look like nominate species (purpurata), except the crown, nape (back of the neck) and ear-coverts (feathers covering the ears) are green. The sides of the body are less yellowish.

Female look like males, but have pale brown shoulders. The outer tail-feathers have a green band above the black tips.

Taxonomy:

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

Species: Scientific: Touit purpurata viridiceps ... English: Chapman's Sapphire-rumped Parrotlet ... Dutch: Chapmans Paarsstaartpapegaai ... German: Chapmans Purperschwanzpapagei ... French: Perroquet à croupion blue Chapman

CITES II - Endangered Species


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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