Mexican Parrotlet - Forpus Cyanopygius - Near Threatened
The Mexican parrotlet (Forpus cyanopygius), also known as the turquoise-rumped parrotlet or the Mexican blue-rumped parrotlet, is a species of parrot in the family Psittacidae. It is the nominate species
Mexican parrotlets exhibit sexual dimorphism: males have light turquoise feathers along the leading edges of their wings and on their rumps and primaries, secondaries, and coverts; females are entirely yellow-green and slightly duller. Some male individuals have faint turquoise feathers behind their eyes and around their heads. Like all parrots, Mexican parrotlets exhibit zygodactyly, meaning two toes face forward and two face backward.
There is one subspecies: Grayson's parrotlet or the Tres Marias parrotlet (Forpus cyanopygius insularis).
Forpus cyanopygius cyanopygius - Typically 13–14 centimetres (5.1–5.5 in) long and weigh 30–37 grams (1.1–1.3 oz). Bright yellow-green bodies. Light peach beaks and feet and dark brown eyes.
Grayson's parrotlet or Tres Marias parrotlet
Forpus cyanopygius. insularis - Compared to the nominate species, males have darker green upperparts and bluer underparts. Their turquoise markings are darker. Females are darker green. Individuals are usually slightly larger than those of the nominate species.
Distribution and Habitat
Mexican parrotlets are endemic to western Mexico. Their range extends from southern Sonora to Colima. This species is the northernmost member of the genus Forpus. Though they are non-migratory, they wander throughout their range to follow the blooming and growth patterns of the plants they prefer to feed on.
Natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry scrublands, deciduous forests, open grasslands with scattered trees, heavily degraded former forest, plantations, and woodlands along watercourses. They are not found at altitudes higher than 1,300 metres (4,300 ft) above sea level.
Mexican parrotlets are highly social and gregarious birds, most often found in flocks of 4-30 individuals made up of pairs and family groups. When flying in these flocks, they fly quickly and in relatively tight formations. They create a variety of squeaky, excited-sounding chirps while perched or in flight. While feeding, they make occasional squawks.
Mexican parrotlets typically breed between May and July, and lay clutches of up to 3 small, white eggs. They are typically incubated for at least 19 days, and chicks fledge 4-5 weeks after hatching. Mexican parrotlets can live to be over 20 years old. Mexican parrotlets usually nest in tree cavities, cacti, and other similar structures.
Mexican parrotlets most commonly eat seeds, grass seeds, berries, and figs, which may be ripe or half-ripe. They forage both on the ground and in trees and shrubs as large flocks. They are known to wander frequently in search of food, making regional population estimates difficult.
Mexican parrotlets are uncommon, though not unheard of, in aviculture. Because of their protections, they cannot legally be captured from the wild and sold as pets, so the captive population relies on breeding programs.
Psittaciformes, The Parrot Index, a part of Phoenix Feathers © 2016 - 2023
Page last updated: 1/1/2320