Red-masked Parakeet (Aratinga erythrogenys)

Red-masked Parakeet

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Aratinga erythrogenys | [authority] Lesson, 1844 | [UK] Red-masked Parakeet | [FR] Conure a tete rouge | [DE] Guayaquilsittich | [ES] Aratinga de Guayaquil | [NL] Ecuador-aratinga | [copyright picture] Shelley Batts


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Aratinga erythrogenys SA w Ecuador, nw Peru


The parrot genus Aratinga comprises 24 species. Aratinga is a genus of American parakeets. They belong to the long-tailed group. Most are predominantly green, although a few are predominantly yellow or orange. They are social and commonly seen in groups in the wild. In Brazil the popular name of several species usually is Jandaia, sometimes written as Jandaya in the scientific form.
The genus Aratinga includes species with habitat from South America to Mexico. Birds in the Aratinga genus have a “swift, direct flight” that differs from other similar birds according to “Parrots of the World.” Other characteristics include the males and females looking alike, a fully feathered face and a rather long tail that starts wide at the base and becomes slender at the tip.

Physical charateristics

Both adults green in general, more yellow on underparts; red forecrown to lores and forecheeks; red bend of wing, carpal edge, outer underwing coverts and thighs. Bill horn in colour. Eye ring bare and buff/white. Eye dull yellow with grey inner ring.

Listen to the sound of Red-masked Parakeet

[audio: Parakeet.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Wouter Halfwerk

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 33 cm size max.: 35 cm
incubation min.: 23 days incubation max.: 24 days
fledging min.: 48 days fledging max.: 52 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 4  


South America : West Ecuador, Northwest Peru. The species occurs from Manabi, north-west Ecuador, south to Lambayeque and Cajamarca, north-west Peru, with the high Andes marking its easternmost limit, at least in Ecuador. There are very few records from the centre of its range, in Guayas, El Oro and Azuay, Ecuador, which may effectively divide the population into two distinct subpopulations.


It occurs in a range of habitats – from humid forest through deciduous forest, dry Acacia scrub to open, sparsely vegetated desert and intensely farmed areas to towns – but principally inhabits arid areas6, from sea-level to 2,500 m, but most frequently below 1,500 m.


It nests in tree cavities, but the extent to which it tolerates logged forest and can breed successfully in small woodlots or even isolated trees is unclear. Clutches average 3 to 4 eggs and incubation is 23 or 24 days. Nests are usually made in tree cavities 3-10 meter up or in a termitarium. Juvenile birds fledge after 50 days with green plumage.

Feeding habits

Its diet is not well known, but includes fruit of several different tree species, and Erythrina flowers.

Video Red-masked Parakeet


copyright: Alexander Grimwade


This species has a moderately small population which has suffered some severe local declines (primarily owing to trapping) but remains common in some other areas. It is consequently classified as Near Threatened.
Habitat loss is cause of concern. Catastrophic decline of forest in Tumbes region (Peru) in the past 60 years and its consequent population decline indicate that habitat loss affects population. Also trapping for local and international trade. It suffers heavily from local trade in Peru and Ecuador, where it is a common and highly sought-after pet. It is also internationally traded from Peru, but its status is clouded by the misdeclaring of traded birds and pre-trade mortality, which
both demonstrate the complexities of estimating true numbers taken from the wild.
Red-masked Parakeet status Near Threatened


Not well known, seems to respond with displacement to dry and rainy periods and highly likely to food availability.

Distribution map

Red-masked Parakeet distribution range map

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