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Maroon-fronted Parrot Rhynchopsitta terrisi

  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Janet M. Ruth, Thomas S. Schulenberg, and Chelsea Kendrick


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Maroon-fronted Parrot
eBird range map for Maroon-fronted Parrot

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

Maroon-fronted Parrot is a Mexican endemic found in the northern Sierra Madre Oriental from southeastern Coahuila and Nuevo León in the north, south through Tamaulipas to Queretaro (Ortiz-Maciel et al. 2010). It nests colonially in limestone cliffs in the northernmost portion of this range in Nuevo León and Coahuila; when fledglings leave the nest, they abandon the nesting area and move south to their wintering range in the southern part of the Sierra Madre Oriental, where they form large aggregations (Ortiz-Maciel et al. 2014). Maroon-fronted Parrot has a very restricted distribution, within which currently there is no more than 5,000 km2 of suitable habitat remaining (BirdLife International 2014). The region occupied by these parrots when breeding is even smaller, and is estimated at only 1300 km2 (BirdLife International 2014).

The typical elevational range of Maroon-fronted Parrot is from 2000-3000 m, but it has occurred as low as 1300 m and as high as 3700 m (Juniper and Parr 1998). The most important nesting cliffs are at higher elevations of 2500-3000 m (Valdés-Peña et al. 2008).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


Maroon-footed Parrot occupies temperate coniferous, mixed coniferous-deciduous, pine-oak and oak forests (Ely 1962, Howell and Webb 1995, Juniper and Parr 1998; Ortiz-Maciel et al. 2010). The presence of cliff faces is required for breeding sites (see Reproduction).

Historical changes

Information needed. Contribute

Fossil history

Maroon-fronted Parrot is represented in osteological remains from late Pleistocene deposits (25,000-12,500 years B.P.) in Nuevo León, Mexico (Rea 1997). Also found in the same deposits are remains of Thick-billed Parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha) and of an extinct third species of Rhynchopsitta, R. phillipsi (Rea 1997). These three species apparently "were at least roughly contemporaneous" at the site, although Rea believed that terrisi and phillipsi were sympatric, but that pachyrhyncha was "present perhaps only nomadically".

Recommended Citation

Ruth, J. M., T. S. Schulenberg, and C. Kendrick (2015). Maroon-fronted Parrot (Rhynchopsitta terrisi), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.