El Oro Parakeet (Pyrrhura orcesi)

El Oro Parakeet

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Pyrrhura orcesi | [authority] Ridgely and Robbins, 1988 | [UK] El Oro Parakeet | [FR] Conure d’El Oro | [DE] Orcessittcih | [ES] Cotorra de El Oro | [NL] El Oro-parkiet | [copyright picture] Birdlife


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Pyrrhura orcesi SA sw Ecuador


The genus Pyrrhura includes a rich set of small to medium-sized species of parakeets, mostly confined to dense habitats in South America. Also, they inhabit dry as well as tall rainforests which occur from sea level up to 2000m. These birds exploit several tree species and use a variety of food items, from nectar to pure seeds. All have long, pointed tails, a mainly green plumage, and a relatively narrow, dark greyish to white eye-ring. Many have scaly or barred chest-patterns and a whitish, pale grey, buff or reddish ear-patch. They typically move around in small, noisy flocks, flying swiftly at or below canopy level. Once settled in a tree they tend to be silent (especially if aware of danger) and difficult to spot. They nest in a tree-crevice.

Physical charateristics

Male- mainly green in colour; red lores and forehead; slight dull maroon tinge on abdomen; red bend of wing, carpal edge and primary coverts; green tail with dark brown/maroon tip. Bill horn in colour. Eye ring bare and pink/white. Eye dark brown. Female- as in male but with green lores and minimal red on forehead

Listen to the sound of El Oro Parakeet

[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/PSITTACIFORMES/Psittacidae/sounds/El Oro Parakeet.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Andrew Spencer

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 22 cm size max.: 24 cm
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fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
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South America : Southwest Ecuador. Pyrrhura orcesi occurs on the west slope of the Andes in south-west Ecuador (Canar, Azuay, El Oro, Loja), where it was discovered in 1980. It is apparently confined to an area only 100 km from north to south, and 5-10 km wide, containing highly fragmented habitat, and with a population estimated at 2,000-10,000. Numbers at the type-locality (Buena Ventura) fluctuate, possibly indicating seasonal movements, or a decline owing to further habitat loss.


It inhabits very humid, tropical forest at 300-1,300 m. It has been reported to tolerate some habitat fragmentation. It generally occurs in groups of 4-15, although a flock of 60 has been observed.


It appears to favour Dacryodes peruviana (Burseraceae) for nesting and breeds communally but a pair exhibited pre-nesting behaviour in the cavity of a small Meliaceae tree in 1997, and nests have been reported in natural cavities 1.8-24 m above the ground in a variety of tree species. The main breeding season appears to be November to March. NO data on clutch size and incubation period.

Feeding habits

Feeds quietly in upper stages of the canopy, repeatedly returning to the same fruiting tree. Diet consists Feeds mainly on fruits and figs.

Video El Oro Parakeet


copyright: Martin Kennewell


This species is known from few areas in a very small range. Remaining habitat is fragmented, and both range and population are probably declining rapidly. As a result, it qualifies as Endangered.
Below 900 m, the rate of deforestation in west Ecuador was 57% per decade in 1958-1988, although in the higher parts of its range, with steeper terrain and a harsher climate, deforestation is slower and a greater proportion of forest remains. In particular, rapid rates of logging around Pias and Manta Real occurred during the late 1980s and 1990s. Typically, these areas were then burnt for cattle-farming. The species is particularly threatened because it does not occur above 1300m.
El Oro Parakeet status Endangered


Seasonal movements to lower altitudinal forests have been reported at Buenaventura

Distribution map

El Oro Parakeet distribution range map

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