The Cobalt-winged Parakeet (Brotogeris cyanoptera) has the largest range of the Brotogeris. The Cobalt-winged parakeet is the most commonly misidentified member of the family.
The Cobalt-winged Parakeets (Brotogeris cyanoptera) have the largest range of the Brotogeris — specifically they can be found in the extreme western Amazon Basin in Brazil’s states of Amazonas, Acre and Rondônia; as well as part of the North Region. Their range also stretches from north to south, southern-most Venezuela and Colombia; eastern Ecuador and north Peru; in northern and central Bolivia, as well as in northern Bolivia within the tributary rivers to the Madeira River flowing northeast to the Amazon River. One small population occurs in Bolivia’s northeast border region near the Guapore River.
Based on their extensive range (in some parts of which they are considered “common”), they are not classified as endangered at this point in time — in fact, it is believed that more than one million of them can be found in their natural habitat. At this point in time, populations appear to be stable (del Hoyo et al. 1997). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Its natural habitats are tropical lowland evergreen forest, tropical lowland evergreen forest, second-growth forests and woodland areas. These parakeets are usually seen in the canopy and rarely seen outside the woodland.
The Cobalt-winged Parakeets that were imported into the U.S. came from Bolivia – they were not imported in large numbers.
The Cobalt-winged parakeet.(B. cyanoptera) is the most commonly misidentified member of the family. It is frequently confused with the orange-chinned parakeet. Even though it is named for the extensive area of blue coloration on its wings, this parakeet has the same orange chin patch of the orange-chinned parakeet. One easy method for determining the difference is the coloration on the head. Only cobalt wings will have yellow feathers around the nostrils.
Races, including nominate species:
- Cobalt-winged Parakeets (B.c. cyanoptera)
They average 7 inches (18 cm) in length and weigh between 1.75 to 2.3 oz (50 – 65 grams).
They are virtually all green with yellow forehead and reddish-orange chin. The yellow forehead and lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird’s head) are somewhat duller and less far-reaching in hens. The primary coverts and secondary feathers are purple/blues. The purple/blue outer primary feathers are edged with green and the remainder is purple/blue. The central tail feathers are dark blue with green margins. The next two feathers are green edged with blue, the remainder green.
The bill is pale horn colored, tipped with brown. The bare eye rings are white. The eyes are dark brown.
Young birds look like adults, except they have a brown bill.
- Gustave’s Parakeets (B.c. gustavi): Average 7 to 7.6 ins (18 to 19 cm) in size. The carpal edge (= leading edge of the wing at the “shoulder”) and the bend of the wing are yellow in both males and females. They have green outer primary feathers.
- Beni Cobalt-winged or Blue-winged Parakeets (B.c. beniensis): Average 7 inches (18 cm) in size. Both male and female look like the Gustave’s Parakeet – except the plumage is paler, with more yellow/green. There is a heavy tint of yellow on the forehead and lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird’s head) and a strong tint of blue on the crown. The bend of wing, carpal edge (= leading edge of the wing at the “shoulder”) and primary coverts are also yellow.
The first successful breeding in the United States took place in 1983. Two years later (1985) the first successful breeding in England occurred.
These active little parakeets are considered medium-noisy; and they are said to have an easy going, more passive, nature than grey-cheek parakeets.
Breeding your Brotogeris – All you need to know about setting up and maintaining your breeding pairs
Brotogeris as Pets – Find out about their personalities and care requirements
Calls / Vocalizations:
Their calls are described as sounding like those of the Tui Parakeet – a rapid repetition of high pitched notes. Additionally, clear splink splink notes or harsh, scratchy noises have been recorded.
Diet / Feeding:
In their natural habitat, these parakeets may feed on the following:
- Seeds (including sprouted seeds)
- Fruits (including berries and figs)
- Flowers. Nectar, Greens and Plant Matter
- Minerals and Grit: They are often seen visiting barreiros (areas where mineral-rich soil is readily available) and river banks to feed on soil.
- Insects and their larvae
They should be provided a varied diet that includes any of the below:
- Dr. Harvey’s Bird Food Mixes or Lafeber are convenient options that lack many of the harmful additives that are commonly found in commercial mixes and have a great variety of quality ingredients (including dried fruits, veggies, herbs / greens and even superfoods, such as bee pollen!) – in short: myriad nourishing ingredients that are not found in other commercially available bird mixes. However, our biggest grievance with their products is that they use sulphurated dried produce (a process which also requires chemicals), but it is very difficult to find mixes with unsulphurated fruits and veggies. You could just buy the seeds, nuts and grain mix and buy human-grade unsulphurated dried produce / greens as well as bee pollen and mix them in. Even organic trail mixes (WITHOUT CHOCOLATE!) work great. With a little creativity you can put a mix together that offers superior nutrition without the chemicals typically found in commercial brands.
- Sprouted Seeds: sprouted sunflower; sprouted millet spray. Sprouted or germinated seeds are usually more easily accepted by “seed addicts” than fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Sprouted seeds are healthier as the sprouting changes and enhances the nutritional quality and value of seeds and grains. Sprouted seeds are lower in fat, as the process of sprouting utilizes the fat in the seed to start the growing process – thus reducing the fat stored in the seeds.Sprouted seeds will help balance your bird’s diet by adding a nutritious supply of high in vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll.Soaked and germinated “oil” seeds, like niger and rape seeds, are rich in protein and carbohydrates; while “starch” seeds, such as canary and millets, are rich in carbohydrates, but lower in protein.It is an invaluable food at all times; however, it is especially important for breeding or molting birds. Sprouted seeds also serve as a great rearing and weaning food as the softened shell is easier to break by chicks and gets them used to the texture of seeds.
- Fresh fruit (such as bananas, berries, figs, rose hips)Edible flowers
- Nectar: Lory food; porridge of oat flakes; or wheatgerm and honey
- Vegetables (one favorite is half-ripe corn)
- Green foods / plant material, such as dandelion, clover, chickweed, rowanberries, etc.. In the wild, they like to chew rotten stumps and search for larvaeBranches with buds and flowers
- Animal protein (such as dried shrimp)
- Vitamin and mineral supplements (especially important if nutritional variety and quality hasn’t been maintained)
These parakeets are messy eaters and scatter any soft food over their cages (as is typical of most parrots). Carefully planning the set up will facilitate the daily clean-up.
Class: Aves — Birds, oiseaux
Order: Psittaciformes — Parrots, perroquets
Family: Psittacidae — aras, cacatoès, Cockatoos, Lories, Macaws, Parrots, perroquets … Subfamily: Psittacinae
Species: Scientific: Brotogeris cyanoptera cyanoptera … English: Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Deville’s Parakeet … Dutch: Kobaltvleugelparkiet … German: Blauflügelsittich … French: Perruche à ailes cobalt
Distribution: Beni Province, Northern Bolivia
Description: Average 7 inches (18 cm) in size. Both male and female look like the Gustave’s Parakeet – except the plumage is paler, with more yellow/green. There is a heavy tint of yellow on the forehead and lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird’s head) and a strong tint of blue on the crown. The bend of wing, carpal edge and primary coverts are also yellow.
Species: Scientific: Brotogeris cyanoptera beniensis … English: Beni Blue-winged Parakeet … Dutch: Beni Blauwvleugelparkiet … German: Beni Blauflügelsittich … French: Perruche à ailes cabalt Gyldenstolpe
Distribution: Bolivia; Upper Huallaga River valley, Northern and Eastern Peru
Description: Average 7 to 7.6 ins (18 to 19 cm) in size. The carpal edge and the bend of the wing are yellow in both males and females. They have green outer primary feathers.
Species: Scientific: Brotogeris cyanoptera gustavi … English: Gustav’s Parakeet … Dutch: Gustav’s Parkiet … German: Gustavsittich … French: Perruche à ailes cobalt Berlepsch
Other Relevant Web Resources:
- Brotogeris as Pets
- Common Health Problems of the Brotogeris
- Breeding Brotogeris
- Brotogeris Species
- Photos of the Various Brotogeris Species for Identification
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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