Red-faced Parrot (Hapalopsittaca pyrrhops)

Red-faced Parrot

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Hapalopsittaca pyrrhops | [authority] Salvin, 1876 | [UK] Red-faced Parrot | [FR] Caique de Salvin | [DE] rotgesicht-Papagei | [ES] Lorito Ecuatoriano | [NL] Roodmaskerdwergamazone | [copyright picture] Birdlife


Monotypic species


The genus Hapalopsittaca consists of four species of small (23cm) short-tailed parrots, confined to the Andes. It is one of the least known genera of parrots in the world; one is Critically Endangered (Fuertes?) and two, including the Rusty-faced, are Endangered, due to deforestation. The genus Hapalopsittaca may exploit mistletoes extensively.

Physical charateristics

Both adults: dark red forehead and lores to area in front of cheeks and chin; crown and nape green with tint of blue; area behind cheeks and ear-coverts green, with green/yellow shafts; various feathers of abdomen tipped red. Bend of wing and carpal edge to lesser, outer middle and lesser underwing coverts deep red; tail green tipped purple. Bill horn-coloured with blue/grey base of upper mandible. Eye green/yellow.

Listen to the sound of Red-faced Parrot

[audio: Parrot.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Niels Krabbe

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: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


South America : Southwest Ecuador, Northwest Peru. The species is confined to the east Andes in south Ecuador (Morona-Santiago, Azuay and Loja) and contiguous ranges of north-west Peru (Piura and north Cajamarca). In Ecuador, its range has been estimated at 2,839 km2, but this excludes areas of known and projected occurrence in Morona-Santiago and Cordillera de Cutucu Oeste. A revised estimate of suitable habitat suggests that its total range is likely to be c.4,050 km2. A significant population inhabits the Cordillera de Chilla, Loja, where it was present at two of three forest patches surveyed in 1995, at densities of 88 birds/km2 and 25 birds/km2, with an estimated population of c.350 at the former.


It inhabits very wet, upper montane cloud-forest and low, open forest and shrubby growth adjacent to the paramo, at 2,500-3,500 m. It has been reported from fragmented and degraded forest near pasture, and there is some evidence to suggest tolerance of (if not preference for) secondary habitat.z


It nests in tree-cavities in October-January, with eggs in late November, chicks in early December, and fledglings in late January, clutch size 2-3 eggs.

Feeding habits

Feeds on fruits, berries, shoots, flowers, seeds, pods and parts of two ericaceous trees.


This species is classified as Vulnerable because the estimated area of suitable habitat within its range (and hence the populaiotn size) is very small, severely fragmented and declining, probably rapidly.
It is generally local and uncommon, and has declined seriously in recent years. Its decline is attributed to habitat destruction and fragmentation, largely through slash-and-burn conversion to agricultural small holdings. Serious losses can be expected owing to logging and forest degradation, by burning and grazing, in Ecuador’s Cordillera de Chilla, Loja, though in 1995, large areas of forest were still extant.
Red-faced Parrot status Vulnerable


Resident, with local movements in response to food availability.

Distribution map

Red-faced Parrot distribution range map

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