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Black-headed Parrot Pionites melanocephalus

  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors needed...
  • © Michel Giraud-Audine

One of just two species placed in the genus Pionites, the Black-headed Parrot, or as it more appropriately sometimes named Black-crowned Parrot, replaces its congener and the other member of the species-pair, the White-bellied Parrot (Pionites leucogaster), over northern Amazonia. This species ranges from southern Colombia to northeast Peru, and across northern Brazil to the Guianas, and northeast Venezuela, and is found in both seasonally flooded and terra firme forests, as well as in second growth and clearings. Both Pionites are very attractive, somewhat dumpy-bodied species, with broadly similar yellow, green, and white plumages, but the Black-headed Parrot is literally ‘capped’ by its black forehead to nape, with green lores. Two subspecies are recognized, with the more westerly ranging P. m. pallida being appropriately distinguished by its whiter breast and belly, and its paler hindneck band. The Black-headed Parrot breeds in tree-cavities, and lays two eggs, but the breeding season perhaps varies across its relatively broad range.

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© Paul A. Schwartz

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Black-headed Parrot (Pionites melanocephalus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: