Sunday, April 9, 2023

Cauca Spectacled Parrotlet

My last post was on the blue-headed parrot and the post before, on the brown-throated parakeet. This post is on the spectacled parrotlet, which we found on the roof-lines of one of the guest houses at Tinamu. All were found at Tinamu Reserve. What is the difference between a parrot, parakeet and parrotlet? 

Parrotlets are the smallest New World parrots, about the size of African love birds, which comprise about 19 species. They have stocky builds, are found in Central and South America and are aggressive, willful and affectionate. 

Parakeets are small to medium-sized parrots that are seed-eating, slender and have long tapering, tail feathers. They comprise about 115 species. In the U.S. a parakeet is generally thought of as the Australian budgerigar, which is a very common pet bird, one species of parakeet. That was part of my cultural upbringing. 

There are about 398 species of parrot. The distinguishing characteristics are a strong, curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs and zygodactyl feet (four toes, two forward of unequal length and two backward of the same unequal length). 
Spectacled parrotlet range - Wikipedia
The spectacled parrotlet is found in eastern Panama, Colombia and small portions of Venezuela and has three subspecies. The cauca subspecies, which we saw, is found in western Colombia in the Caldas Department where Tinamu Reserve is located. 
A female (front) and male (back) together. Note the emerald eye ring on the female and the blue eye ring on the male. 
It is mostly green, with a gray-green breast and underparts, a brighter green head, dark brown eyes and beak and peach feet and legs. Males have a bright blue eye-ring, which gives it it's name, and purple-blue on the lower back, rump and some other spots. Females have no blue, but an emerald ring around each eye. In the cauca subspecies, the male's blue is paler and the females beak is thicker. 

1 comment:

  1. I love these brightly-colored little birdies. They look like something that would be in a painting.