El Oro Parakeet Pyrrhura orcesi

  • © Dusan Brinkhuizen

The El Oro Parakeet is an extremely rare parakeet, unknown to science until it was discovered on the pacific slope of southern Ecuador in 1980 and described in 1988.  This species' range is very small,  and it is only known to occur at a few isolated localities between 600m and 1100m elevation in the Azuay and El Oro provinces.  The sole protected site within the range is the Buenaventura reserve, owned by the Jocotoco foundation, the impetus of the creation of which was to save this species from potential extinction due to habitat loss is this area. The Jocotoco foundation currently provides artificial nest boxes for this species, which have amplified breeding opportunities, and allowed scientists to study the breeding biology of the largest known population of this endangered species.  While the Buenaventura reserve currently protects upwards of 120 birds, the large home range (1-3 sq. km.) of this species make it difficult to protect, though this species seems at least partially tolerant of pastureland, nesting in boxes placed on solitary trees over open pasture near humid evergreen forest.  While similar to the Maroon-tailed (Pyrrhura melanura), the El Oro Parakeet is the the only Pyrrhura within its range, and is therefore easily identifiable by its small size, long, maroon-tipped tail, and dark green body plumage.  Distinctively from other members of its genus, this species shows a red forecrown and lacks any scaling on the underparts.

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© Bret Whitney

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

Recommended Citation

El Oro Parakeet (Pyrrhura orcesi), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/elopar1