Black-headed Parrot (Pionites melanocephalus)

Black-headed Parrot

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Pionites melanocephalus | [authority] Linnaeus, 1758 | [UK] Black-headed Parrot | [FR] Caique maipourri | [DE] Grunzugelpapagei | [ES] Lorito Chirlecres | [NL] Zwartkopcaique


Monotypic species


The Caiques are two colourful and comparatively small parrot species in the genus Pionites. Caiques are endemic to the Amazon Basin in South America and can be found nowhere else in the world. The White-bellied Caique lives south of the Amazon River, while the Black-headed Caique is found on the north side.

Physical charateristics

General plumage green; forehead, crown and nape black; lores and stripe under eye green; cheeks, throat, band to nape, thighs and flanks orange; breast and abdomen creamy-white; under tail-coverts yellowish-orange; primary-coverts and primaries violet-blue; tail upperside with yellow tips, underside dull olive-yellow; bill blackish; periophthalmic ring dark grey; iris red; feet dark grey.

Listen to the sound of Black-headed Parrot

[audio: Parrot.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 22 cm size max.: 24 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods:   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


South America : North Amazonia


Found in forested areas and savannah with trees in tropical zone. Savannah and coastal forests as well as their margins to 1.000 meter.


Breeding season in Venezuela from April, also in October in Surinam; nests in tall trees; Clutch size 2-3 eggs. No further information available.

Feeding habits

Diet consists of fruits, seeds, berries and buds

Video Black-headed Parrot


copyright: youtube


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Black-headed Caiques are native to Columbia, Ecuador, Venezuela, the Guyanas, Brazil, and parts of Peru.
Black-headed Parrot status Least Concern


Sedentary, though local wandering and some seasonal movements in search of food.

Distribution map

Black-headed Parrot distribution range map

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