occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: RESIDENT: Pacific slope of Middle America from central Sinaloa and western Durango south to northwestern Costa Rica (to Gulf of Nicoya and San Jose region), also in arid Comayagua Valley on Caribbean slope of Honduras. Introduced (possibly not established) in southern Florida and Puerto Rico.
Length: 24 cm
Habitat and Ecology
Comments: ALL SEASONS: Deciduous forest, arid scrub, swamps, open woodland, forest edge, occasionally around towns and villages, mostly in arid or semi-arid situations (AOU 1983). Roosts in trees along streams in Guatemala. In suburbs and wooded pastures in Puerto Rico. BREEDING: In native habitat, nests usually in excavations in termitaria (AOU 1983).
Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Comments: Eats especially wild figs, also seeds, nuts, berries, blossoms, and possibly insects. Diet includes casuarina fruits in Florida (Terres 1980).
Forms large noisy flocks.
Life History and Behavior
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
Clutch size usually 3-5. Incubation by female, usually 30 days to hatch first egg. Young fly at about 6 weeks (Terres 1980).
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure
- The name "orange-fronted parakeet" is also used for Malherbe's parakeet, a critically endangered parakeet from New Zealand.
There are three subspecies:
- E. c. clarae – (R. T. Moore, 1937): found in west central Mexico
- E. c. eburnirostrum – (Lesson, 1842): found in southwestern Mexico
- E. c. canicularis – (Linnaeus, 1758): found from southern Mexico to western Costa RIca
Orange-fronted parakeets are 22.5 cm (8.9 in) long and weigh 80 g (2.8 oz). 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). "Eupsittula canicularis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
- "Zoological Nomenclature Resource: Psittaciformes (Version 9.004)". www.zoonomen.net. 2008-07-05.
- Sanchez-Martinez, Tania; Renton, Katherine (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.
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Possibly constitutes a superspecies with A. azurea of South America (AOU 1983).