The Yellow-chevroned Parakeets (Brotogeris chiriri) are native to tropical South America - south of the Amazon River basin from eastern and southern Brazil to southern Bolivia, Paraguay and north-western Argentina.
Their preferred habitats include forests and urban parks. They usually travel in flocks; in groups as small as 2 to 4 - but as many as 20 have been observed.
They are described as active little parrots that are entertaining to watch.
From the late 1960s to the mid 1970s, more than 260,000 of these parakeets were imported from South America for the pet trade. At that time, this was the most commonly imported parrot.
Self sustaining populations of released or escaped Yellow-chevroned Parakeets established themselves in California (Los Angeles, San Francisco); Florida (Miami), as well as Connecticut and New York. The Yellow-chevroned Parakeet appears to be adapting better to its adopted habitat than its closely related cousin, the White-winged or Canary-winged Parakeet. The White-Winged Parakeets have declined considerably since the early 1980s, while the Yellow-Chevrons have become more established. In 2002, Don Brightsmith estimated the population of Yellow-Chevroned Parakeets in the Los Angeles, California area at 400 individuals. In Florida, however, they thrived more than any other place in the United States -- huge flocks, with several hundred of them, have been observed.
The species is also fairly established in the downtown area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where it was also introduced.
These parakeets are 8 - 9 inches long (20 - 25cm) and weigh around 2.5 oz (72 g). They are slightly bigger than its cousin, the greycheek, and a little larger than the popular lovebird.
It is closely related to the Canary-winged Parakeet. In fact, it was considered conspecific (of, or belonging to, the same species) until 1997. (Please refer to the physical differences as featured on the image to the right - also below is some information about the species controversy.)
Males and females are not sexually dimorphic and must be sexed either surgically or by DNA.
The plumage is mostly bright green; the underparts are a paler green and the underwing coverts are yellow-green. The wings are a slightly darker green and have a trailing yellow edge on its folded wings that is also seen when this parakeet is in flight.
Their hook-shaped beaks are orange-brown and the legs and feet are pink-grey. They have creamy-white eye rings and dark brown eyes.
Look like adults but have shorter tails and the bills are a darker brown.
Differentiation from sub-species: Behn's Parakeet
Male and female Behn's Parakeets look like the yellow-chevroned parakeet (nominate species), except they are slightly larger and lack the yellow tinge to the green body color.
Until 1997, some taxonomists considered the White or Canary-winged Parakeet and the Yellow-chevroned Parakeet (Brotogeris chiriri) to be conspecific (of, or belonging to, the same species). Even though the Yellow-chevroned Parakeet (Brotogeris chiriri) has the same yellow secondary covert feathers that can be seen in the Canary-winged Parakeet - it lacks white on the primary feathers of the wing.
Confusion of these two species constitutes a serious problem. For example, the book "Parrots: A guide to parrot identification" (Juniper and Parr 1998) mixes characteristics of both species in their illustrations. In addition, the Aviculturists in the United States commonly use the name Canary-winged Parakeet for B. chiriri (Yellow-chevroned Parakeet) and White-winged Parakeet for B. versicolurus - which adds to the confusion.
In pet stores, the Yellow-chevroned Parakeets (B. chirir) are frequently sold as Canary-winged Parakeets (B. versicolurus) and visa versa.
Because of this confusion, it was suggested that the name of the Canary-winged Parakeet be changed to White-winged Parakeet - for the obvious reason that the white wing patches are unique in the genus and outstanding among parrots in general.
Breeding / Nesting:
In their natural habitat, Yellow-chevroned Parakeets usually nest in tree cavities or arboreal termite nests. They will also form nesting tunnels in dead palm fronds. Once a nest has been located and properly "prepared" by the pair, the hen lays 4 to 5 eggs. After raising its young, these parakeets form large communal roosts until the next breeding season.
They make friendly and tame pets; although they can be jealously towards other pets. They are not known for their talking ability, but can mimic some words and sounds. They are considered medium-noisy.
They like sleeping in a hanging bed or snuggle hut that are available in pet stores. However, you could simply drape a towel over an upper perch, or you could attach the towel on the top of the cage, allowing it to hang down over a perch, for your pet to climb under.
Diet / Feeding:
In their natural habitat, these parakeets may feed on the following:
- Seeds (including sprouted seeds)
- Fruits (including berries and figs)
- Flowers. Nectar, Greens and Plant Matter
- Minerals and Grit: They are often seen visiting barreiros (areas where mineral-rich soil is readily available) and river banks to feed on soil.
- Insects and their larvae
Other Relevant Web Resources:
Calls / Vocalizations:
In flight, they make loud, high-pitched, metallic chattering calls in rapid succession - somewhat sounding like the second half of their scientific name: "Chiriri". They may also make abrupt, loud squawks when taking flight and emit low, chattering notes while feeding.
Class: Aves -- Birds, oiseaux
Order: Psittaciformes -- Parrots, perroquets
Family: Psittacidae -- aras, cacatoès, Cockatoos, Lories, Macaws, Parrots, perroquets ... Subfamily: Psittacinae
Genus: Brotogeris Vigors, 1825 -- Canary-winged Parakeets
Species: Scientific: Brotogeris chiriri aka Brotogeris versicolorus chiriri (Vieillot, 1818) ... English: Yellow-chevroned Parakeet ... Dutch: Kanarievleugelparkiet ... German: Kanarienflügelsittich ... French: Perruche aux ailes de canarie Veillot ... Subspecies: Brotogeris chiriri behni (Neumann, 1931)
They look like the nominate species (yellow-chevroned parakeet) featured above, except they are slightly larger in size and lack the yellow tinge to the green body color.
Class: Aves ... Order: Psittaciformes ... Family: Psittacidae ... Subfamily Psittacinae
Genus: Scientific: Brotogeris ... English: Thin-mouth Parakeet's ... Dutch: Dunbekparkieten ... German: Schmalschnabelsittiche ... French: Perruche à bec mince
Species: Scientific: Brotogeris chiriri behni / Previously classified as: Brotogeris versicolorus behni (Neumann, 1931) ... English: Behn's Parakeet ... Dutch : Behn's Kanarievleugelparkiet ... German : Behns Kanarienflügelsittich ... French: Perruche aux ailes de canarie
Status: CITES II - ENDANGERED
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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