Orange-fronted parakeet

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Orange-fronted parakeet
Aratinga canicularis -Costa Rica-8-2c.JPG
In a tree feeding on seeds, Gulf of Papagayo, Costa Rica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Superfamily: Psittacoidea
Family: Psittacidae
Subfamily: Arinae
Tribe: Arini
Genus: Eupsittula
Species: E. canicularis
Binomial name
Eupsittula canicularis
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Aratinga canicularis

The orange-fronted parakeet or orange-fronted conure (Eupsittula canicularis), also known as the half-moon conure, is a medium-sized parrot that is resident from western Mexico to Costa Rica.


There are three subspecies:[2]

  • E. c. clarae(R. T. Moore, 1937): found in west central Mexico
  • E. c. eburnirostrum(Lesson, 1842): found in southwestern Mexico
  • E. c. canicularis(Linnaeus, 1758): found from southern Mexico to western Costa RIca
Two birds in Costa Rica


Orange-fronted parakeets are 22.5 cm (8.9 in) long and weigh 80 g (2.8 oz). The adult is mainly green, paler and yellower below and with an olive tone to the breast. The wings have blue outer primaries and yellow linings, and the pointed tail is tipped with blue. The head is distinctive, with a blue crown, orange forehead, bare yellow eye-ring, yellow iris and white bill. Young birds are similar to the adults, but with much less orange on the forehead.

Habitat and range

It is found in lowlands and foothills on the Pacific side of the central mountain ranges in forest canopy and edges, and more open woodland, including savanna and second growth.


The orange-fronted parakeet feeds in flocks which can reach 100 birds outside the breeding season, taking various seeds, flowers and fruits including figs. Its flight call is a raucous can-can-can, and when perched it has a reedy zeeweet.


The 3–5 white eggs are laid in an unlined nest cavity, usually self-excavated in an arboreal termite nest of the termite species Nasutitermes nigriceps,[3] but sometimes in an old woodpecker hole or natural cavity.


The population has decreased in many areas due to persecution for the pet trade.


See also


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Eupsittula canicularis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Zoological Nomenclature Resource: Psittaciformes (Version 9.004)". 2008-07-05. 
  3. ^ Sanchez-Martinez, Tania; Renton, Katherine (2009). "Availability and selection of arboreal termitaria as nest-sites by Orange-fronted Parakeets Aratinga canicularis in conserved and modified landscapes in Mexico". Ibis. 151 (2): 311–320. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.2009.00911.x. 
  • Stiles, F. Gary; Skutch, Alexander F. (1989). A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica. Comstock Publishing Associates. ISBN 0-8014-9600-4. 

External links

  • BirdLife species factsheet for Eupsittula canicularis
  • "Orange-fronted parakeet media". Internet Bird Collection. 
  • Orange-fronted parakeet photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)
  • Orange-fronted parakeet species account at NeotropicalBirds (Cornell University)
  • Interactive range map of Eupsittula canicularis at IUCN Red List maps
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