The Lilac-crowned Parrot is a medium-sized, green parrot, endemic to the Pacific slope of Mexico. The species occurs in wooded foothills below 1,500 m, from southern Sonora to Oaxaca, and exhibits a preference for semi-deciduous forest which provides key nest-sites and food resources for parrots in the dry season. The diet of Lilac-crowned Parrots comprises predominantly seeds of canopy trees, where parrots may form large feeding flocks. Lilac-crowned Parrots are monogamous, frequently observed in pairs or small family groups, though they gather in large communal roosts on ridge-tops in the late afternoon. Lilac-crowned Parrots nest in natural cavities of canopy trees, and the breeding season extends from February to June, comprising a 28 day incubation period and a 60 day period of nestling growth. Mean clutch size is 2.6 eggs, with an average brood size of 1.8 nestlings per egg-laying female. There is a low 42% nest success due to predation, producing 0.99 fledglings per egg-laying female, with an additional 27% mortality of fledglings resulting in a final reproductive output of 0.70 independent young per egg-laying pair of parrots. Inter-annual fluctuations in rainfall as a result of the El Niño-La Niña cycle in the Pacific Ocean affects all aspects of Lilac-crowned Parrot reproduction including clutch size, nestling growth and survival, reproductive output of nesting pairs, and the survival and recruitment of independent young in the population. This has implications for the potential impact of climate change in limiting reproductive output of wild populations of the Lilac-crowned Parrot in tropical dry forest. Capture for trade is the major threat to wild populations of the Lilac-crowned Parrot, while key breeding and feeding habitat for parrots is being lost through rapid rates of forest conversion along the Pacific coast of Mexico.
Lilac-crowned Parrots © Christopher L. Wood