Golden Parakeet (Guaruba guarouba)

Golden Parakeet

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Guaruba guarouba | [authority] Gmelin, 1788 | [UK] Golden Parakeet | [FR] Conure doree | [DE] Goldsittich | [ES] Aratinga Guaruba | [NL] Goudparkiet | [copyright picture] Birdlife


Monotypic species


The Golden Parakeet, Guaruba guarouba, formerly classified as Aratinga guarouba, is a species of Neotropical parrot. The species is so distinct from Aratinga parakeets that it merits its own genus, Guaruba. It is endemic to the Amazonian basin of Brazil, occurring in northern Maranhao and Para. The nest-site is a cavity in the highest part of an isolated tree 15-30 m tall.

Physical charateristics

The Golden Parakeet is mainly yellow with green in outer wings and with an all-yellow tail. It has a large horn-coloured beak, pale-pink bare eye-rings, brown irises, and pink legs. Male and female have identical external appearance. Juveniles are duller and have less yellow and more green plumage than the adults. The juvenile’s head and neck are mostly green, the back is green and yellow, the upper side of tail is mostly green, the breast is greenish, the eye-rings are pale-grey, and the legs are brown.

Listen to the sound of Golden Parakeet

[audio: Parakeet.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 34 cm size max.: 38 cm
incubation min.: 28 days incubation max.: 32 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


South America : Northeast Brazil. Guaruba guarouba is endemic to Brazil, where most records come from between the Tocantins, lower Xingu and Tapajos rivers in the Amazon basin of Par. There are additional records from adjacent north Maranhao.


It occurs in humid Atlantic coastal forest and inland transitional forests, and it seems to adapt well to mosaics of forest fragments, pastures and agriculture, and in Goias and Minas Gerais it also uses areas of cerrado.


They roost in small groups (<20 individuals) inside cavities of high and isolated trees in open areas near the continuous forest and the same cavity is also used as nest. Golden Parakeets have unusual sexual behavior, and this is one of the most interesting aspects of its biology. The species remains in large flocks during the reproductive period and this has been related to the presence of multiple pairs nesting communally, with reproductive helpers. or juveniles from different generations of a single leading pair (Reynolds 2003). Extra-pair paternity is recorded in captivity. There is no direct information from field, but parakeets are extremely social in the nest sites, with allopreening involving usually more than two birds. During the reproductive period, pairs can be seen inside the flocks and sometimes separate from the flock in order to copulate. The breeding period is from late November to early April, but some variability in the dates is expected to occur. Golden Parakeets nest in cavities in high and isolated trees in open areas near continuous forest. The nest tree is usually the roost tree. The most frequent nest trees for Golden Parakeet are trees that are dead but still standing. Standing dead trees are abundant in newly deforested areas in the Amazon, and also are easier to excavate by the parakeets. Data on clutch, brood and fledging from field are scarce. Hunters reported from 2 to 9 chicks in nests of large flocks and from 2 to 3 in nests of single pairs. In captivity, large and variable clutch and brood size are reported (up 20 for groups with multiple pairs and from 1 to 4 for single pairs).

Feeding habits

Golden Parakeets forage in the canopy of primary or secondary forest and they can spend all the day in the feeding sites, especially during the nonbreeding season. On successive days, a flock uses similar routes between roost and feeding sites. The diet of the Golden Parakeet is varied and comprises several items on primary or secondary forests, including whole fruit (Melastomatacea: Miconia sp,), seeds (Byrsonima sp,), pulp (spp,), bud and flowers (Symphonia sp,), nectar (Leguminoseae), and peel. Also, the species feeds on cultivated plants (e.g. Mangifera indica). Golden Parakeet is not a food specialist parrot.

Video Golden Parakeet


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species has a very small population which is semi-nomadic along rivers in the Amazon basin, and has suffered from habitat loss and extensive trapping for trade. It is consequently listed as Endangered.
There has been extensive and continuing clearance and fragmentation of suitable habitat for coffee, soybean and sugarcane plantations in Sao Paulo, and cattle-ranching in Goias and Minas Gerais. Trapping for trade has probably had a significant impact since it was relatively common in illegal Brazilian markets in the mid-1980s, and imported in hundreds into West Germany in the early 1980s. However, the precise effect is obfuscated by high numbers of captive-bred birds, which presumably reduce pressure on remaining wild populations. There are no records of persecution in response to crop degradation.
Golden Parakeet status Endangered


It is apparently nomadic in lowland humid forest.

Distribution map

Golden Parakeet distribution range map

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