Hawk-headed ParrotThe Hawk-headed Parrot (Deroptyus accipitrinus accipitrinus) – also known as the Red-fan Parrot or Guiana Hawk-headed Parrot — is a South American parrot that is endemic to the Western and Central South America; Amazon Basin-Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru, Suriname and Venezualam, where they inhabit humid forests, savannas and woodlands, foraging in the canopy on fruits.  They are often seen swaying from side to side and emitting a whining sound.
  • The accipitrinus sub-species are found along the Amazon basin north of the river and up into southern Venezuela.The fuscifrons subspecies are found south of the Amazon River going down into northern Brazil.

The Hawk-headed Parrot is known for its striking elongated neck feathers that can be raised to form an elaborate fan, thus greatly increasing the bird’s apparent size.

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    This is a threatened species due to the pet trade as well as habitat destruction from deforestation and conversion to pastureland.

    Their life expectancy is around 40 years.


    This South American parrot is known for its brilliantly colored plumage, and is named for the blue and red feathers around their head that are raised when they become excited or when it feels threatened.

    The most striking features are its flashy coloration and its ruff that — when raised — reminds us of an Indian headress or a lion’s mane.

    Both males and females look alike. Thereforem, if gender is important (for breeding purposes, for example), DNA or surgical sexing is recommended.  Both the male and the female have a white fore crown and a brown throat with white streaks. The base of their neck is red edged with blue. The hawk-heads breast and belly are red and edged with electric blue. Their back, wings and tail are green. The underside of their tale is black. Some of the adults have a red spot under the base of their tail, and it is not related to gender.

    The juveniles have brown eyes and a lighter color beak. The adults have yellow eyes, a gray-black beak and gray legs.

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      Average Weight: 10 ounces (275 grams)
      Average Length: 14 inches (35 cm) – about the size of an Amazon parrot


      Handfed hawk-headed parrots are outgoing, playful, active, mischievous, excitable and occasionally high strung.  They can be compared to the conure, which are similarly outgoing and playful, or to the amazon — but less “bity” and temperamental. Hawk-headed parrots make excellent pets.
      They have a good ability to mimick human speech and learn to repeat the calls of other animals or sounds they hear in their environment.

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        Hawk Parrots as Pets or in Aviculture

        Noise Level: They can be loud with a raucous call that is similar to that of a seagull.
        Housing: Minimum Cage Size: 24″ x 24 ” x 30″ … Bar Spacing: 3/4″ to 1″
        Diet: Their natural diet consists of fruits, seeds, nuts, flowers,leaves and buds. Captive Hawk-heads require a diet rich in vitamin A. This special need can be met by feeding plenty of dark greens, such as collards and kale, as well as deep yellow to orange fruits and veggies including cantaloupe, peaches and sweet potatoes. They should receive a varied diet, including myriad veggies, legumes, fruits, greens, pasta and grains.
        Price and Availability:

        These are expensive birds, from $1,800 to $3,000. Females are rarer and usually cost more.

        They are not easy to breed and not too common in the United States. They are rarely found in a pet store. You would have to contact a breeder

        Hawk-headed parrots mate for life. The male hawk-head cares for the female while she incubates the eggs.
        Breeding Season: December and January
        Cavity nesters The pair mate for life and nests in abandoned nest holes or in dead tree trunks and stumps.
        Number of eggs: 2 – 4 medium-sized white eggs a year
        Incubation period: 25 – 28 days
        Chicks: The young start to fledge in the wild at approximately 10 weeks old. Handfed chicks wean at about 4 months. In captivity, chicks are customarily hand raised, because sometimes the male kills his mate and their offspring.



        Class: Aves … Order: Psittaciformes … Family: Psittacidae … Sub-Family: Psittacinae

        Genus: Scientific: Deroptyus … English: Hawk-headed Parrot … Dutch: Kraagpapegaaien … German: Fächerpapageien … French: Perroquet maillé

        Species: Scientific: Deroptyus accipitrinus accipitrinus aka Amazone accipitrinus accipitrinus … English: Hawk-headed Parrot, Red-fan Parrot … Dutch: Kraagpapegaai, Waaierpapegaai … German: Fächerpapagei … French: Perroquet maillé …Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate: accipitrinus, fuscifrons

        CITES II: Endangered


        Brazilian Hawk-headed Parrots:

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          Species: Scientific: Deroptyus accipitrinus fuscifrons aka Amazone accipitrinus fuscifrons … English: Brazilian Hawk-headed Parrot … Dutch: Braziliaanse Kraagpapegaai … German: Dunkelstirniger Fächerpapagei … French: Perroquet maillé de Brésil

          CITES II – Endangered

          Native Range: Lower Amazon Basin

          Average Length: 35 cm / 14 in


          Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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