The Golden-winged Parakeet (Brotogeris chrysopterus / chrysoptera) is native to the Amazon range of Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname (the Guianas), and Venezuela in the eastern Amazon Basin and the lower Orinoco River region of eastern Venezuela.
Its natural habitat includes subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and heavily degraded former forest areas
The Golden-Winged Parakeet is the rarest from the standpoint of numbers imported into the United States.
Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate:
- Golden-winged Parakeets (Brotogeris chrysoptera / chrysopterus) – Nominate Form
- Codajas Golden-winged Parakeets (B.c. solimoensis)
- Golden Parakeets (B.c. chrysosema)
- Rio Negro Parakeets (B.c. tenuifrons)
- Tuipara Parakeets (B.c. tuipara)
- Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate:
- Calls / Vocalizations:
- Sub-species Identification:
- Physical Description – Young Birds / Immatures:
- Diet / Feeding:
Personality: They are playful and fairly quiet. Some owners report that they can be rather shy. They are sociable, active and love to climb around the branches,
Calls / Vocalizations:
Calls made in flight sound like harsh and scratchy notes repeated quickly up to six times; high pitched notes; and softer, babbling sounds.
Their voice can be loud, although they are not known for extended periods of screeching. They have the ability to learn human speech.
Flight: Swift and straight
Physical Description – Adults:
Males and females look alike.
Length: 6 to 6.8 ins (~16 to 17 cm) – depending on the subspecies
Adult Weight: 2.2 to 2.8 oz (60 to 70g)
Main Identification Features (Nominate Species):
Their name stems from the bright, golden orange patches on their wings. These patches is highly visible when they are in flight. Their overall body coloration is a shade of dark green that is different from any other Central or South American parrots. The narrow band to the forehead is black-brown. The crown has a distinct blue tinge. The chin is a dull orangy brown. The primaries (= longest wing feathers) are violet-blue with a green edging to outer webs and green tips. The underside of the flight-feathers are bluish-green. The upperside to the tail is green tinged with blue, and the underside is dusky green.
- Eye Ring / Periophthalmic Ring: Bare and whitish.
- Irises: Dark brown
- Bill: Longish and horn-colored bill
- Feet: Dark flesh color
Codajas Golden-winged Parakeets (B.c. solimoensis): Look like the nominate species, but the frontal band is paler and reddish brown. The chin patch is yellow-brown.
Golden Parakeets (B.c. chrysosema): They also look like the nominate species, but their plumage is generally more yellow. Both adults have yellow-orange forehead and lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird’s head). There is an orange chin patch. The primary coverts are yellow. They are larger than the nominate species.
Rio Negro Parakeets (B.c. tenuifrons): Look similar to the Tuipara Parakeets, except the orange frontal band is minimal or absent.
Tuipara Parakeets (B.c. tuipara): They also look like the nominate species, except their plumage is generally more yellow. Both adults have an orange thin frontal band and orange chin patch. The side tail feathers are edged with yellow. They are also larger than the nominate Golden-winged Parakeets.
Physical Description – Young Birds / Immatures:
Look like adults, except:
Plumage: duller and their primary coverts are green.
Beak: The upper beak is brown at base.
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
- Water snails: Some of them have even been observed eating fresh water snails. They dip their entire heads in the water to get to these snails. They hold onto the shell of the snail with one foot while they pull the snail out with their beak. In some instances, the break off pieces of the shell until they can get to the snail.
They should be provided a varied diet that includes any of the below:
- A high-quality dry parrot mix (cockatiel dry food mix is fine). One of the better ones (although not perfect) is Dr. Harvey’s which contains nutritional superfoods, such as bee pollen and herbs, lots of different fruits, veggies, grains – all human grade. You can literally and comfortably eat the fruits, veggies and nuts, and enjoy the tasty pieces (as we do).
- 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 chlorophyl. 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 larvae
- Branches 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)
Feeding your pet bird for good health and longevity
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.
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
Class: Aves — Birds, oiseaux
Order: Psittaciformes — Parrots, perroquets
Family: Psittacidae — aras, cacatoès, Cockatoos, Lories, Macaws, Parrots, perroquets
Species: Scientific: Brotogeris chrysopterus chrysopterus … English: Golden-winged Parakeet … Dutch: Oranjevleugelparkiet, Goudvleugel Parkiet … German: Goldflügelsittich, Braunkinnsittich … French: Petite perruche à menton orange
Codajas Golden-winged Parakeets
Identification: They average 6.5 inches (17 cm) in length and look like the nominate species (featured above), but the frontal band is paler and reddish brown. The chin patch is yellow-brown.
Distribution: Upper Amazon river, Amazonas. They can be found in the areas around cities of Codajas and Manaus, in northern Brazil.
Species: Scientific: Brotogeris chrysopterus solimoensis …. German: Codajas Goldfluegelsittich … English: Codajas Golden Parakeet … Dutch: Codajas Goudvleugelparkiet … French: Petite perruche à menton orange Gyldenstolpe
Identification: They average 7.5 inches (19 cm) in length and look like the nominate species featured on this page (above), except the plumage is generally more yellow. They have yellow-orange forehead and lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird’s head); as well as an orange chin patch. Their primary coverts are yellow. They are also larger than the nominate species.
Distribution: Areas along Rio Madeira and its tributaries in states of Amazonas and Mato Grosso in Brazil
Species: Scientific: Brotogeris chrysopterus chrysosema … English: Golden Parakeet … Dutch: Geelvleugelparkiet … German: Gelbflügelsittich … French: Petite perruche à menton orange Sclater
Rio Negro Parakeets:
The Rio Negro Parakeets are known only from upper Rio Negro at Santa Isabel and mouth of Rio Cauaburi, northwest Brazil. Seasonal migration may dependent on availability of food. Their preferred habitats include savannah, wooded marshland, tall secondary vegetation, lowland and cloud forest up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m). They are also seen along forest edges and adjoining cleared areas in Brazil, as well as in plantations and gardens in urban areas.. They are common throughout their range; although a decline in its population has been observed in localities and is caused by habitat destruction.
Outside the breeding season, they are usually found in pairs or small groups of 8 to 16 birds. Large flocks of 100 or more parakeets may occasionally be seen in favored feeding sites. Many parakeets roost in hollows of trees or arboreal (above-ground) termite mounds They are shy, although more approachable when feeding.
These active little parakeets usually prefer to be high up in the canopy, where they enjoy climbing around in the branches or may be seen hanging upside down in order to reach some tasty flowers or fruits. They are usually well camouflaged by their green plumage and difficult to detect in the foliage. However, they are still conspicuous as they tend to be very vocal. Groups on different trees are often overheard calling to each other. If they feel threatened, the predator may be driven off by their loud screeching.
Their flight is swift and direct. They regularly visit water places in mornings to drink and feed on algae and water snails.
Identification: They average 6 nches (16 cm) in length. These parakeets look similar to the nominate species featured above, except the orange frontal band is minimal or absent. There is an orange patch to the skin.
Natural Breeding Behavior:
In Surinam, the breeding season starts in November and goes on until about April. In the southern Mato Grosso, these parakeets usually start breeding in April and breeding activities may continue until December.
They usually nest at considerable heights, in arboreal (above-ground) termite mounds, hollow branches or dead trees. These parakeets excavate the nest chamber in termite mound, where up to 6 birds may occupy one cavity.
They usually breed in colonies and assist each other in raising the young. The average clutch may consist of 3 to 4 eggs and they appear to be two breeding cycles a year. Each egg measures 0.95 x 0.84 ins (24.1 x 21.3 mm).
Breeding your Brotogeris – Captive breeding has rarely been achieved in aviculture. However, if you are lucky enough to have obtained breeding pairs, please visit this webpage for information about setting them up and maintaining your breeding pairs
Brotogeris as Pets – Find out about their personalities and care requirements
Call / Vocalization: Their calls include soft babbling to noisy screeching.
Species: Scientific: Brotogeris chrysopterus tenuifrons … English: Rio Negro Parakeet … Dutch: Rio Negro Goudvleugelparkiet … German: Rio Negro Goldflügelsittich … French: Petite perruche à menton orange Friedmann
Identification: They average 7 inches (18 cm) in length. They look like the nominate species featured above, except their plumage is generally more yellow. Both adults have an orange thin frontal band and orange chin patch. The side tail feathers are edged with yellow. They are also larger than the nominate Golden-winged Parakeets.
Distribution: Northern Brazil, South of Amazon from lower Rio Tapajós, Pará, East to Isla de Marajó and Belém, as far as Northeastern Maranhão
Species: Scientific: Brotogeris chrysopterus tuipara … English: Tuipara Parakeet … Dutch: Tuipara Parkiet … German: Tuiparasittich … French: Petite perruche Touipara