Gray-cheeked Parakeet


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Gray-cheeked Parakeet
The Gray-cheeked Parakeet is uncommon in a variety of habitats from primary deciduous forest to semi-arid acacia scrub. It is found in the lower tropical zones of southwest Ecuador and extreme northwest Peru.
 This medium-sized parakeet is mostly green with a teal crown and nape, a pale gray face and throat, and a yellowish bill. The bases of the remiges are blue, and the underwing coverts are bright orange.
Juveniles show less blue in the crown and are duller overall. This species is often associated with Red-masked Parakeets and Bronze-winged Parrot in small groups.

Gray-cheeked Parakeet 20 cm; 60–68 g. Crown bluish-green, cheeks pale grey; body and wings green, lighter below; underwing coverts orange-red. Immatures have green crowns.

Systematics History

DNA study indicates that this species and B. jugularis are sister taxa which, in turn, are sister to the pair B. cyanoptera and B. chrysoptera. Monotypic.

Subspecies

Monotypic.

SOURCE: dalegkalina

Distribution

SW Ecuador (Manabi, Los Ríos, Santa Elena and Guayas to Loja) and extreme NW Peru (Tumbes and N Piura).

Habitat

Evergreen and disturbed humid forest, deciduous Ceiba trichistandra forest and woodland (birds seemingly most numerous in this habitat),

extending into arid Acacia-dominated scrubland and semi-open cultivated areas, only up to 300 m in N of range but up to 1550 m in S.

Movement

The scarcity of the species in certain apparently suitable areas may reflect seasonal displacements, which are thought likely to occur.

Diet and Foraging

Petals and seeds of Erythrina trees, flowers and seeds of Chorisa, flowers of Cavanillesia platanifolia, the fruit of Ceiba and Ficus, and catkins of Cecropia.

Gray cheeked Parakeet
                                                                      Gray-cheeked Parakeet
 Flocks in the vicinity of banana plantations were presumably using this food source, and some birds are reportedly trapped for trade while raiding crops.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Common calls include a shrill “chree” or bisyllabic “chree-chree”, given both in flight and perched. Also a fast chattering series “cra-cra-cra-cra-cra”.

Noisy in flight, individuals of a group often call simultaneously. Large groups can make a loud cacophonous noise.

SOURCE: MikeLaJolla

Breeding

Most activity probably coincides with the wet season, Jan–Mar, although specimens from Jul had slightly enlarged gonads, and copulation was witnessed in Aug.

Large trees with hollow limbs are apparently needed for nest holes; termite mounds are also used. In captivity: 4–7 eggs; young fledge at six weeks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAtjKMa3AIo

SOURCE: timmato57

Conservation Status

ENDANGERED. CITES II. Previously considered Near ­Threatened. Formerly abundant, now only locally common. Present in four protected areas:

Cerro Blanco Reserve, Arenillas Military Reserve and Manglares-Churute Ecological Reserve in Ecuador, and Tumbes National Forest in Peru.

Large-scale conversion of forest to agriculture has caused a substantial reduction of presence within the historical range, this being compounded by substantial chronic exploitation for trade (both local and international) and, possibly, depletion of suitable natural nest sites.

A total of 59,320 birds, almost entirely from Peru (but very possibly originating in Ecuador) reported as having been imported by CITES countries, 1983–1988, representing absolute minimum, and only international trade;

moreover, most birds are captured as nestlings and the mortality rate is not known. The world population of wild birds is now judged as only 15,000; both range states now have bans on international trade.


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