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Red-masked parakeet

red-masked parakeet, red-masked parakeet fighting
The red-masked parakeet Psittacara erythrogenys[2] is a medium-sized parrot from Ecuador and Peru It is popular as a pet and are better known in aviculture as the cherry-headed conure[3] or the red-headed conure[4] They are also considered the best talkers of all the conures[5]


  • 1 Description
  • 2 Habitat and distribution
    • 21 Feral populations
  • 3 Breeding
  • 4 Conservation status
  • 5 References
  • 6 Further reading
  • 7 External links


Red-masked parakeets average about 33 cm 13 in long, of which half is the tail[3] They are bright green with a mostly red head on which the elongated pale eye-ring is conspicuous; the nape is green Also, the lesser and median underwing coverts are red, and there is some red on the neck, the thighs, and the leading edge of the wings Juveniles have green plumage, until their first red feathers appear at around the age of four months Its call is two-syllabled, harsh and loud

Habitat and distribution

These birds are native to southwestern Ecuador and northwestern Peru,[3] where they primarily live in jungle and deciduous forest They can also thrive in semiarid regions as well as in suburban regions[6] While they can live up to 2,500 metres 8,200 ft above sea level, they are usually found below the 1,500 metres 4,900 ft mark Their wide distribution and popularity as pets contributes to their successful introduction in other areas upon release especially in the southern areas of the United States as exotic feral birds

Feral populations

Parrots in San Francisco's Financial District Feral parrots on a street lamp in San Francisco; one has its wings open showing the red and green on the underside of a wing

Escaped cage birds are considered to be introduced in Spain[3] They are found in the United States, especially in Florida, California and in El Yunque rainforest in Río Grande, Puerto Rico[citation needed] They make up most of the feral population in San Francisco which is documented in the film The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill by Judy Irving,[3] based on the book of the same name by Mark Bittner[7] They are also seen in part of Hawaii[8] Although these birds reproduce in the wild in California,[9] the red-masked parakeet is not considered established in North America[citation needed] Breeding populations of feral parakeets have been observed in California in San Francisco,[3] San Diego County,[3] Los Angeles,[3] San Gabriel Valley,[3] Sunnyvale,[3] Orange County, Palo Alto and Long Beach, as well as in Texas in Houston[citation needed] These feral parrots are also introduced in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico[citation needed] The birds have been observed feeding on the fruits and flowers and nesting in palm trees[3]


Clutches average three to four eggs and incubation is over within 23 or 24 days Nests are usually made in tree cavities and they can breed successfully in small woodlots or even isolated trees in degraded forests Juvenile birds fledge after 50 days with green plumage[3]

Conservation status

It has been the tenth most common Neotropical parrot imported into the US with over 26,000 parakeets checked in from 1981 to 1985[citation needed] This bird was formerly more common in its limited range, and was reclassified by the IUCN from a species of least concern to a species that is near threatened in 1994 This is due to declining populations brought by widespread local pet trade in Peru and Ecuador which attributed to habitat loss and fragmentation[10]


  1. ^ BirdLife International 2012 "Psittacara erythrogenys" IUCN Red List of Threatened Species IUCN 2012 Retrieved 26 November 2013mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-rightold-form url
  2. ^ DNA-sequence data require revision of the parrot genus Aratinga Aves: Psittacidae JV Remsen, Jr, Erin E Schirtzinger, Anna Ferraroni, Luís Fábio Silveira & Timothy F Wright
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Red-masked Conures Aratinga erythrogenys"
  4. ^ "Data" PDF sdplantatlasorg
  5. ^ Athan, Mattie Sue 2010 Guide to Companion Parrot Behavior Barron's Educational Series p 179 ISBN 0-7641-4213-5 Retrieved 2013-01-24
  6. ^ "Red-masked Parakeet Psittacara erythrogenys - BirdLife species factsheet"
  7. ^ "The Parrot Pages" - Mark Bittner 2008
  8. ^ "Red masked parakeet" PDF hbsbishopmuseumorg
  9. ^ "Archived copy" Archived from the original on 2007-02-08 Retrieved 2017-11-28CS1 maint: archived copy as title link
  10. ^

Further reading

  • David Sibley 2000 The Sibley Guide to Birds Knopf ISBN 0-679-45122-6
  • Handbook of the Birds of the World Vol 4, Josep del Hoyo editor, ISBN 84-87334-22-9

External links

  • Identification - California Parrot Project
  • Description - International Conure Association
  • Species factsheet - BirdLife International

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Red-masked parakeet

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