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A photo of a White-eyed Parakeet (Psittacara leucophthalmus)
White-eyed Parakeet

White-eyed Parakeet

Psittacara leucophthalmus

The White-eyed Parakeet, or White-eyed Conure as it is known in aviculture, is a vibrant bird of the Psittacidae family. Adults typically measure between 32 to 35 cm in length, with a wingspan of 37 to 40 cm, and weigh between 100 to 218 grams. Their plumage is predominantly a lush green, lighter on the underparts, with distinctive red flecks adorning their head and neck. The wing bend and edge, along with the outermost lesser underwing coverts, are also tinged with red, while the outermost greater underwing coverts boast a yellow hue. The underside of their flight feathers and tail is an olive color. An orange eye is set within a ring of bare white to yellowish skin, and their bill is horn-colored.

Identification Tips

To identify the White-eyed Parakeet, look for the characteristic white or yellowish-white skin around the orange eye, which gives this bird its name. The red and yellow markings on the wings are also key identifiers. Juveniles are similar to adults but have less red on their head and wings.

Habitat

These parakeets are found in a variety of open landscapes, including forest edges, savannahs, secondary forests, gallery forests, palm groves, and mangroves. They are generally lowland birds but can be found at elevations up to 2,500 meters in Bolivia.

Distribution

The White-eyed Parakeet is widely distributed across South America, from eastern Venezuela through the Guianas and Brazil, extending into Bolivia, Paraguay, northern Argentina, and Uruguay. It is also present on Trinidad.

Behaviour

These social birds form large flocks, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, and may include other parrot species. They are known to roost communally in trees, cane fields, and even caves.

Song & Calls

The White-eyed Parakeet is a vocal species, particularly in flight, emitting a grating chattering interspersed with high-pitched shrieks. When perched, they produce sharp squeaky notes and loud harsh calls.

Breeding

Breeding seasons vary across their range, with nesting occurring in tree and palm cavities. Clutch sizes typically consist of three to four eggs. In captivity, incubation lasts about four weeks, with fledging occurring nine weeks post-hatching.

Similar Species

The White-eyed Parakeet can be confused with Finsch's Parakeet, but the latter has a red triangle on the forehead, which the White-eyed Parakeet lacks as an adult.

Diet and Feeding

Their diet is primarily fruit-based but also includes seeds, flowers, and a small number of arthropods. They are also known to visit clay licks.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the White-eyed Parakeet as Least Concern, with an extremely large range. Although the population size is unknown and believed to be decreasing, there are no immediate threats identified. They are common throughout much of their range and are found in several protected areas.

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