The Mitred Parakeet is a widespread and familiar parakeet of the central Andes, where it is common and widespread from central Peru south to northwestern Argentina; there also is a population, perhaps isolated, in northern Peru. In the northern portion of its range, this species primarily occurs at the borders of humid montane forest, and in the more humid portions of intermontane valley; in these regions it is replaced in drier mountain valleys by the Scarlet-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga wagleri). Farther south, where the Scarlet-fronted Parakeet does not occur, the Mitred Parakeet is more widespread in these drier montane forests. The Mitred Parakeet is a large Aratinga, and is mostly green with a variable amount of red on the head and neck, and on the tibial feathers. It is very similar in appearance to the Peruvian subspecies (frontata and minor) of Scarlet-fronted Parakeet, but those populations of Scarlet-fronted usually have red along the bend of the wing, whereas the wings of Mitred are entirely green. There is a great deal of variation in the extent of the red on the head of Mitred Parakeet. This variation is in part related to age (younger birds having less red), but also led to suggestions that the Mitred Parakeet in fact is a complex of two or three species; further research is needed to better understand the basis of this variation and to clarify the taxonomic status of the different populations of Mitred Parakeet.