Grey-cheeked parakeet -- 灰颊鹦哥 (Brotogeris pyrrhoptera)

Grey-cheeked parakeet
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Grey-cheeked parakeet fact file

Grey-cheeked parakeet description

GenusBrotogeris (1)

A small but rounded, green parakeet with an oversized, pale yellow bill, the grey-cheeked parakeet is in fact mostly green with just a small area of grey on each cheek. It has a blue crown and orange-red patches on the underwings. Immatures have green crowns. In flight it calls with a trilling ‘stleeeet stleeeet(2).

Psittacus pyrrhopterus.
Catita Macareña, Perico Cachetigris.
Length: 20 cm (2)
60 – 68 g (3)

Grey-cheeked parakeet biology

Apparently able to breed throughout the year, the grey-cheeked parakeet is monogamous and mainly mates between January and March. It nests in large trees with hollow limbs in which nest-holes are created, but has also been found nesting in old termite mounds. The female lays four to seven eggs and the chicks fledge at around six weeks of age (3).

The grey-cheeked parakeet eats petals, seeds, flowers, fruit, catkins and bananas, raiding crops in some areas (3). It flies swiftly (6) in pairs or small groups (3).


Grey-cheeked parakeet range

This species is found in west and southwest Ecuador and extreme northwest Peru (2).


Grey-cheeked parakeet habitat

Inhabits mainly deciduous forests as well as humid evergreen forests, arid scrubland, and semi-open agricultural areas. It is present at altitudes of up to 1,550 m in the south of its range, but only to 300 m in the north (2). It roosts on the branches of medium-sized trees (6).


Grey-cheeked parakeet status

The grey-cheeked parakeet is classified as Endangered (EN A2cd) on the IUCN Red List 2004 (1) and is listed on Appendix II of CITES (4). It is also listed on Appendix I of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS or Bonn Convention) (5).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered


Grey-cheeked parakeet threats

This bird was once abundant but is now only locally common with as few as 15,000 individuals remaining, whilst over 59,000 grey-cheeked parakeets have been reported to have passed through international trade checkpoints. In fact, the caged-bird trade is the greatest threat to the species, with unsustainably high numbers of birds being trapped and removed from the wild. The grey-cheeked parakeet is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, but this does not regulate internal trade or trapping within Ecuador and Peru (3).

In addition, the grey-cheeked parakeet is at risk from habitat destruction due to conversion to agricultural land, logging, over-grazing by goats and cattle (2).


Grey-cheeked parakeet conservation

International trade in this species is banned in both Ecuador and Peru. It occurs in several protected areas, of which Cerro Blanco Protection Forest, Ecuador, and Tumbes Reserved Zone, Peru, are particularly important and regular population monitoring takes place. The timing of the breeding season has yet to be established, and research will contribute positively to any conservation efforts. Strict bans on collection of the grey-cheeked parakeet and conservation education programmes may prove to be the key to the continuation of this species (2).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

For further information on this species see Del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. (1997) Handbook of the Birds of the World – Volume 4: Sandgrouse to cuckoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

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Having only one mate during a breeding season, or throughout the breeding life of a pair.


  1. IUCN Red List (May, 2005)
  2. BirdLife International (May, 2005)
  3. Sargatal, J., Elliott, A. and Del Hoyo, J. (1997) Handbook of the Birds of the World – Volume 4: Sandgrouse to cuckoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  4. CITES (May, 2005)
  5. CMS (May, 2005)
  6. Lexicon of Parrots (May, 2005)

Image credit

Grey-cheeked parakeet  
Grey-cheeked parakeet

© Dennis Avon /

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