Yellow-faced Parrot (Alipiopsitta xanthops)

Yellow-faced Parrot

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Alipiopsitta xanthops | [authority] Spix, 1824 | [UK] Yellow-faced Parrot | [FR] Perroquet a face jaune | [DE] Schoapapagei | [ES] Amazona del Cerrado | [NL] Geelmaskerpapegaai | [copyright picture] Birdlife


Monotypic species


The Yellow-faced Parrot (Alipiopsitta xanthops), formerly also known as the Yellow-faced Amazon, is the only species of the genus Alipiopsitta. It is a Neotropical parrot (tribe Arini), and was classified in the genus Amazona for many years. A 1995 study showed its distinctness genetically. Following this discovery, it was briefly placed in the genus Salvatoria again, until this name was found to be pre-occupied by a group of polychaete worms from the superfamily Nereidoidea, thus leading to the transferral of the Yellow-faced Parrot to the new genus Alipiopsitta

Physical charateristics

Green-and-yellow parrot. Pale green above. Yellow crown, lores and cheeks. Rest of head yellow, broadly scaled green. Greenish-yellow underparts scaled green. Yellow patches with orange mottling on sides of belly. White periocular. Distinctive bill with mostly dark maxilla and yellowish mandible. Immature is greener and has more restricted yellow on head. Blue-fronted Amazon A. aestiva is larger, with turquoise forecrown and different breast pattern

Listen to the sound of Yellow-faced Parrot

[audio: Parrot.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Sidnei de Melo Dantas

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 27 cm size max.: 28 cm
incubation min.: 19 days incubation max.: 22 days
fledging min.: 41 days fledging max.: 45 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


South America : Central. Species restricted to interior Brazil (Maranhao, Piaui, Tocantins, Bahia, Minas Gerais, Goias, Distrito Federal, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and formerly Sao Paulo) and north-central Bolivia (two records from Beni: San Joaquin, east of rio Mamore, in 1964 and a captive bird caught north of Santa Ana in the 1990s). It has been listed for Paraguay, but there is no confirmed evidence of its presence.


It occurs in wooded grassland (cerradao), spiny arid scrub (caatinga), gallery forest and Mauritia palm-stands


Until recently, comparatively little was known of its habits. It has been studied in Emas National Park in Brazil. Its breeding season there is May to October. Nests are hollows in termite mounds. The eggs are incubated for 19-22 days, while the young take up to 45 days to leave the nest. A recent study by Raphael Igor Dias states: Average clutch-size was two eggs, and hatching success was high (92%). All nests were in cavities in termite mounds, with used cavities deeper and with wider entrances than cavities that were not used. Entrances to nests were orientated towards the north-east. Although the number of cavities in the environment appears to be high, specific nesting requirements and competition with other cavity-nesting birds and insects may reduce the number of cavities that can be used. Nevertheless, nests were never observed to be reused and site-fidelity appeared to be low. Specific nesting requirements and low site-fidelity may create problems for near-threatened species with declining populations, such as the Yellow-faced Parrot.

Feeding habits

Its diet consists of fruit and seeds of trees such as Anacardium, Salacia crassifolia and Astronium fraxinifolium. Birds have been reported taking unripe guava Psidium fruit in plantations and will spend weeks visiting mango trees. However, the semi-nomadism of the species suggests that it depends on unpredictable food resources. Termites are another diet item.

Video Yellow-faced Parrot


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species is classified as Near Threatened because its population is suspected to be declining moderately rapidly owing to habitat loss.
It is occasionally locally common, but mainly occurs at low densities and is now absent in many parts of its former range. By 1994, two-thirds of the Cerrado region had been either heavily or moderately altered, with most of the destruction having occurred since 1950. High-quality cerrado grasslands are being rapidly destroyed by mechanised agriculture, intensive cattle-ranching, afforestation, invasive grasses, excessive use of pesticides and annual burning. Caatinga habitats are less threatened, but still suffer conversion to agriculture, grazing and burning
Yellow-faced Parrot status Near Threatened



Distribution map

Yellow-faced Parrot distribution range map

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