Brown-backed Parrotlets aka Black-backed Parrotlets, the Black-eared Parrotlets or Wied’s Parrotlets

The Brown-backed Parrotlet (Touit melanonota) is also known as the Black-backed Parrotlet, the Black-eared Parrotlet or Wied’s Parrotlet is rare and endangered in its natural habitat, with an estimated population of less than 5,000 of them still believed to exist.

Distribution / Range

The Brown-backed Parrotlet occurs naturally in South America, specifically southeast Brazil from southern Bahia south to southern São Paulo.

It is mostly confined to the Bahia, Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo regions in southeastern Brazil. Some are also reported in the Rio de Janeiro region.

It inhabits humid forest from 500 m (1,700 ft) to 1,000 m (3,300 ft), and rarely moves down to lower altitudes. They prefer tall and medium-sized tree tops.

They are usually observed in small flocks of 3-20 birds.

This species is described as shy – mostly seen flying as they are well camouflaged in the foliage. They are very quiet and usually climb around branches agilely when foraging. Their flight is described swift.


The Broan-backed Parrotlet is a small parrot that averages 15 cm or 6 inches in length (including tail).

It is mainly green with a dark brown mantle and back, brown ear coverts, and red outer tail with back tips.

Female as male, but sides of body only with bluish-grey tinge.

Immatures as female.

Diet / Feeding

They mostly feed on fruits, seeds, berries and tiny nuts.


Genus: Scientific: Touit … English: Spotted-tailed Parrotlets … Dutch: Bontstaartpapegaaien … German: Buntschwanzpapageien … French: Perroquet à dos couleurs …

Species: Scientific: Touit melanonota … English: Brown-backed Parrotlet … Dutch: Bruinrugpapegaai … German: Schwarzrückenpapagei, Braunrückenpapagei … French: Perroquet à dos brun

CITES IIEndangered Species