- The name "Orange-fronted Parakeet" is also used for Malherbe's Parakeet, a critically endangered parakeet from New Zealand.
There are three subspecies:
- Aratinga canicularis canicularis (Linnaeus, 1758)
- Aratinga canicularis clarae (R. T. Moore, 1937)
- Aratinga canicularis eburnirostrum (Lesson, 1842)
Orange-fronted Parakeets are 22.5 cm long and weigh 80 g. The adult is mainly green, paler and yellower below and with an olive tone to the breast. The wings have blue outer primaries and yellow linings, and the pointed tail is tipped with blue. The head is distinctive, with a blue crown, orange forehead, bare yellow eye-ring, yellow iris and white bill. Young birds are similar to the adults, but with much less orange on the forehead.
Habitat and range
It is found in lowlands and foothills on the Pacific side of the central mountain ranges in forest canopy and edges, and more open woodland, including savanna and second growth.
The Orange-fronted Parakeet feeds in flocks which can reach 100 birds outside the breeding season, taking various seeds, flowers and fruits including figs. Its flight call is a raucous can-can-can, and when perched it has a reedy zeeweet.
The 3-5 white eggs are laid in an unlined nest cavity, usually self-excavated in an arboreal termite nest of the termite species Nasutitermes nigriceps, but sometimes in an old woodpecker hole or natural cavity.
The population has decreased in many areas due to persecution for the pet trade.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Aratinga canicularis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/106001577. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- "Zoological Nomenclature Resource: Psittaciformes (Version 9.004)". www.zoonomen.net. 2008-07-05. http://www.zoonomen.net/avtax/psit.html.
- Sanchez-Martinez, Tania; Katherine Renton (2009). "Availability and selection of arboreal termitaria as nest-sites by Orange-fronted Parakeets Aratinga canicularis in conserved and modified landscapes in Mexico". Ibis 151 (2): 311–320. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.2009.00911.x.
- Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa Rica ISBN 0-8014-9600-4