Barred Parakeet Bolborhynchus lineola

  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Carlos A. Soberanes-González, Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, Marîa del Coro Arizmendi, and Thomas S. Schulenberg


Distinguishing Characteristics

Bolborhynchus are small green parakeets with short, graduated tails and short but thick, swollen bills. Barred Parakeets are mostly green, with blackish "shoulders" to the wing, and narrow black barring on the the upperparts and flanks.

Similar Species

There are few other small green parakeets in the montane forests occupied by Barred Parakeet. Orange-chinned Parakeet (Brotogeris jugularis) typically occurs at lower elevations, is larger and longer tailed, is not barred, has a large brown patch on the wing coverts, and the upper throat is orange. Rufous-fronted Parakeet (Bolborhynchus ferrugineifrons) is very local in the Colombian Andes; it usually occurs at higher elevations than Barred Parakeet, is larger, is dull green and is not barred, and has a small patch of rufous on the face at the base of the bill. Andean Parakeet (Bolborhynchus orbygnesius) does not have black in the plumage, and is yellower below. Parrotlets (Touit) have shorter tails that are not graduated.

Detailed Description

The following description is based on Ridgway (1916) and Wetmore (1968), and refers to nominate lineola; see also Geographic Variation.

Adult: Sexes similar (or, female with duller barring?: Howell and Webb 1995). Upperparts green; forecrown somewhat yellowish green. Feathers of rear crown, nape, back, rump and uppertail coverts narrowly tipped with black, producing a barred pattern. Lesser wing coverts black. Median and greater wing coverts green, tips boldly spotted with black. Outermost primary black, narrowly edged with buff; rest of primaries and primary coverts black, edged with green. Rectrices green above, tipped with black; underside of tail bluish green. Underparts and sides of face yellowish green, flanks barred with black. Undertail coverts green, with a few small black spots. Underwing coverts green, spotted and indistinctly barred with black.

Bare Parts

Iris: dark brown

Bill: dull flesh to ivory; mandible sometimes somewhat darker than maxilla

Tarsus and toes: flesh

Bare parts color data from Wetmore (1968).


Total length: 16 cm (Stiles and Skutch 1989), 16.5-18 cm (Howell and Webb 1995), 18 cm (Hilty and Brown 1986)

Linear measurements (from Wetmore 1968; see also Ridgway 1916):

male (n = 7; nominate lineola)

wing length, mean 104.3 mm (range 100.5-109.8 mm)

tail length, mean 58.5 mm (range 53.8-62.0 mm)

bill length (culmen from cere), mean 12.2 mm (range 11.6-13.5 mm)

tarsus length, mean 12.4 mm (range 11.5-13.8 mm)

female (n = 10; nominate lineola)

wing length, mean 102.4 mm (range 97.0-107.6 mm)

tail length, mean 55.8 mm (range 52.0-59.6 mm)

bill length (culmen from cere), mean 11.9 mm (range 11.8-12.6 mm)

tarsus length, mean 12.4 mm (range 11.5-13.4 mm)

Mass: mean, 56.6 g (n = 8, sexes combined, across both subspecies, range 45.2-66.5 g: Hartman 1961, Miller 1963, Weske 1972, O'Neill et al. 1991)

Recommended Citation

Soberanes-González, C. A., C. I. Rodríguez-Flores, M. d. C. Arizmendi, and T. S. Schulenberg (2013). Barred Parakeet (Bolborhynchus lineola), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.