Golden-tailed Parrotlet (Touit surdus)

Golden-tailed Parrotlet

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Touit surdus | [authority] Kuhl, 1820 | [UK] Golden-tailed Parrotlet | [FR] Toui a queue d’or | [DE] Gelbschwanz-Papagei | [ES] Cotorrita Sorda | [NL] Goudstaartpapegaai | [copyright picture] Birdlife


Monotypic species


Genus Touit or parrotlets are small, stocky birds with short, square tails. The tail feathers are broad and have slightly pointed tips. The bill is proportionately large, though rather narrow. This genus is distinguished chiefly by the long upper and under tail-coverts, which reach to the tip of the tail. Parrotlets of the genus Touit are found in Central and South America and seem generally to occur at very low densities, and their inconspicuous habits make it even harder to find.

Physical charateristics

Green forest parrotlet. Bright grass-green, brighter on undersides. Yellowish area in forefront, around face and cheeks. Scaled appearance on crown and neck. Brownish scapulars forming two bands on back. Dark primaries and primary coverts with green patch at base of primaries. Short, square tail, golden-yellow tipped black, with green central rectrices. Female similar with yellowish-green sides of tail. Similar spp. Brown-backed Parrotlet T. melanonota has a dark brown back and bright red sides of tail. Pileated Parrot Pionopsitta pileata is large and male has red on forehead.

Listen to the sound of Golden-tailed Parrotlet

[audio: Parrotlet.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Mauricio Cabral Periquito

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South America : East Brazil. It occurs in north-east Brazil (Ceara, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Alagoas and Sergipe), and in the south-east from Bahia south to Sao Paulo. Recent surveys have found it to be the commonest parrot in the Atlantic Forest of Alagoas (which has been reduced to <2% of its former extent). Research done in two lowland forest reserves of total 30000 ha, north of Rio de Janeiro: was never seen during the research; the parrot may occur at very low densities in both sites.


It inhabits lowland evergreen forest and adjacent lower montane slopes, mostly below 500 m, but up to 700 m in Alagoas and 1,000 m in EspSanto, Rio de Janeiro and SPaulo,. Flocks have been observed moving between distant forest fragments.


Nests have been reported in arboreal termitaria, but this parrotlet?s breeding biology is still very inadequately known.

Feeding habits

Reported foods are fruit of Spondias lutea and Rapanea schwackeana.

Video Golden-tailed Parrotlet


copyright: Ciro Albano


This species is listed as Vulnerable because its population is small and declining rapidly owing to ongoing deforestation. Ithas been found to be more resilient to forest fragmentation than first thought, and it may be under-recorded rather than genuinely scarce, especially in the southern part of its range.
Extensive deforestation throughout its range is regarded as the principal cause of its rarity, and the north-east population is most threatened because sugarcane plantations have replaced virtually all owland forest in Alagoas, leaving just 2% of original forest cover in severely fragmented blocks, averaging 1.5 km2 or less.
Golden-tailed Parrotlet status Vulnerable


At least in Rio de Janeiro, it may undertake seasonal movements.

Distribution map

Golden-tailed Parrotlet distribution range map

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