Orange-cheeked Parrot

orange cheeked amazon Two subspecies of the Orange-cheeked Parrot are recognized over the species’ relatively large, primarily western and central Amazonian range, which extends from southeast Colombia and southern Venezuela south across much of Amazonian Brazil, except the extreme east, to northernmost Bolivia.
 orange cheeked amazon parrot is a stunningly plumaged parrot, with a blackhead relieved by a large orange-yellow malar patch and bare white periorbital patch, an olive-yellow throat, and breast, and orange-yellow, red, and blue feathering on the wings, which are also marked by their black primaries.
 more southerly range of the two subspecies is distinguished by its richer orange-colored malar region, shoulder, and thighs.
 Despite the species being generally uncommon over much of its distribution, the Orange-cheeked Parrot does not appear to be especially threatened, as the greater part of its range is still only subject to relatively minor but increasing inroads by logging concerns.

Orange-cheeked Parrot 25 cm; 165–190 g (mean also given as 140 g). Head black circumscribing large orange-yellow malar patch and white bare orbital ring; throat and upper breast olive-yellow; rest of body green, but with shoulder orange-yellow, carpal edge and underwing-coverts red, primaries blackish, thighs yellow, tail tipped dull blue.

Orange-cheeked Parrot

Immature has head brown and olive, less orange and red in a wing. Race aurantiigena has a richer orange malar patch, shoulder, and thighs.

Systematics History

Editor’s Note: This article requires further editing work to merge existing content into the appropriate Subspecies sections. Please bear with us while this update takes place.

May form a parapatric species-trio with P. caeca and P. vulturine. Two subspecies were recognized.

orange cheeked bird



Pyrilia barrabandi barrabandi Scientific name definitions


S and SE Colombia and S Venezuela to Brazil N of Amazon (E to R Negro).


Pyrilia barrabandi aurantiigena Scientific name definitions


E Ecuador, E Peru and N Bolivia to W Brazil S of Amazon (E to R Madeira and W Mato Grosso).


Editor’s Note: Additional distribution information for this taxon can be found in the ‘Subspecies’ article above. In the future, we will develop a range-wide distribution article.


Like P. caeca a bird of primary lowland terra forest, but sometimes also in seasonally flooded várzea forest, and sandy-belt woodland; ranges up to only 500 m.

SOURCE: JACAMAR CLUB – Birding In Action

Diet and Foraging

Seeds and fruits: of six food plants, three were Moraceae (FicusPourouma, and Pseudolmedia), two Leguminosae (Mimosa and Pithecellobium), and one Olacaceae (Heisteria); figs, e.g. of Ficus and another with larger fruit, clearly important.

Seen biting leaf galls on Pithecellobium trees, presumably for wasp larvae. Recorded also feeding on flowers.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

The most common call is a reedy, almost bisyllabic “chureee” (somewhat reminiscent of Pionus menstruous), given both in flight and perched. Occasionally gives a loud rapid chatter “kya-kya-kya”, usually when taking off.


Probably Sept-Oct in E of range, based on immatures in Feb. No further data.

SOURCE: World Parrot Trust

Conservation Status

orange cheeked parrot

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Currently considered Near Threatened. Generally uncommon and local, but occasionally frequent to numerous in W parts of the range, e.g. N Bolivia, this is possibly related to the scarcity of Pionus menstruous and Amazona species in the region.

Present in Manu National Park, Peru, where density reaches 0·5 pairs/km². Habitat for this species is still very extensive and intact, despite encroachments from E and S, and trade is minimal.

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