Periquito Coliverde/Green-rumped Parrotlet/Forpus passerinus

Foto: Rodrigo Gaviria

Nombre en español: Periquito Coliverde

Nombre en ingles: Green-rumped Parrotlet

Nombre científico: Forpus passerinus

Familia: Psittacidae

Canto: Peter Boesman

El periquito (Forpus passerinus) es una especie de ave de la familia de los loros (Psittacidae). Es típico en zonas tropicales de Sudamérica, de regiones caribeñas como Colombia, Venezuela y Trinidad, al sur y al este de Guyana y, en Brasil, a lo largo del río Amazonas. Ha sido llevado a Jamaica, Curazao, Barbados y Tobago, y no se tiene registrada su aparición en Trinidad en períodos previos a 1916.

A este periquito generalmente se le observa en parejas o grupos pequeños y su llamado es agudo como el de un gorrión. Su nombre forpus probablemente ha sido designado arbitrariamente y passerinus deriva del latín y significa como gorrión.

Su hábitat son los bosques abiertos y matorrales. La hembra pone de 5 a 7 huevos blancos en uno de los hoyos de un nido de termitas, en huecos de los troncos de los árboles, e incluso en tuberías vacías, y los incuba por 18 días, hasta que las crías rompan el cascarón, y pasan otras 5 semanas aproximadamente para que a éstas les salgan plumas.

El periquito mide aproximadamente 12 cm de largo y pesa 23 g; es la especie de loro más pequeño encontrado en América. Es principalmente verde claro, con pico rosáceo y una cola pequeña. El macho tiene una mancha brillante de color azul en las alas, y las hembras a veces tienen tonalidades amarillas en la cabeza. La subespecie F. p. viridissimus de Venezuela, Trinidad y Tobago es de un verde más oscuro que la nombrada F. p. passerinus, y los machos tienen más fuerte el azul de las alas.

Los periquitos realizan claros gorjeos. Comen semillas, incluyendo las de hierba. Son muy sociables y pasan la noche en comunidades; gran cantidad de ellos pueden ser vistos al amanecer y al anochecer.

Se encuentra en Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad, Guyanas y Brasil. En Colombia llega hasta los 500 m sobre el nivel del mar desde la base oriental y el extremo sur de la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta hasta la Guajira. También en el oriente de los Andes en Norte de Santander y probablemente en norte de Arauca y norte de Vichada. 

Habitat

Normalmente se ven en matorrales secos o áridos con cobertura de cactáceas, dehesas y bosques de galería. También habita en bordes de bosque, bosques en crecimiento secundario, manglares, parques, pastizales, cultivos y menos común en sabanas.

Alimentación

Al periquito coliverde le gusta alimentarse de semillas de pastos o malezas. Se ha registrado consumiendo las semillas de Croton hirtus, Hyptis suaveolens, Wissadula, Cyperus, Scoparia dulcis y Melochia parviflora. También consume frutos de Anona y Psidium guajava

Reproducción

Se han registrado eventos en los periodos mayo – agosto y octubre – noviembre en Colombia. Anidan en cavidades de tocones, ramas, troncos y termiteros arbóreos. Con menos frecuencia anidan en palmas. Generalmente ponen 5 huevos pero pueden poner hasta 11, los cuales incuban alrededror de 14 días. Los polluelos permaneces entre 28 y 35 días en el nido y casi la mitad de las hembras intentan volver a reproducirse después de que los juveniles se independizan.

Comportamiento

Es muy común verlos en parejas o pequeños grupos mientras llaman incesantemente posados en medio del follaje. El desarrollo de los polluelos es muy lento probablemente debido a que son alimentados con semillas nutricionalmente muy pobres. La predación de nidos es su principal causa de mortalidad.

Foto: José Luis Pushaina

Green-rumped parrotlet

The green-rumped parrotlet (Forpus passerinus) is a species of parrot in the family Psittacidae. It is the nominate species (F. p. passerinus).

There are four subspecies: the Colombian green-rumped parrotlet or Rio Hacha parrotlet (F. p. cyanophanes), the Trinidad green-rumped parrotlet or Venezuelan parrotlet (F. p. viridissimus), the Roraima green-rumped parrotlet or Schlegel’s parrotlet (F. p. cyanochlorus), and the Amazon green-rumped parrotlet or delicate parrotlet or Santarem passerine parrotlet (F. p. deliciosus).

Description

NameAppearanceRange
green-rumped parrotlet(Forpus passerinus passerinus)(nominate species)Typically 12 centimetres (4.7 in) long and weigh 20–28 grams (0.71–0.99 oz). Primarily bright green with duller/grayer napes. Eyes are dark brown and beaks and feet are light peach.Green-rumped parrotlets exhibit sexual dimorphism: males have purplish-blue primaries, secondaries, and coverts, with bright turquoise feathers on the leading edges of their wings; females lack blue but have more yellow-green on the head. Like all parrots, green-rumped parrotlets exhibit zygodactyly, meaning two toes face forward and two face backward.Juveniles look like adults.Guianas; formerly introduced (unsuccessfully) to Martinique, West Indies
Colombian green-rumped parrotlet or Rio Hacha parrotlet(F. p. cyanophanes)Compared to the nominate species, males have more extensive purple-blue markings that form an obvious patch on the closed wing.northern Colombia
Trinidad green-rumped parrotlet or Venezuelan parrotlet(F. p. viridissimus)Males are darker than their counterparts of the nominate species; purple-blue markings on secondaries are darker and more extensive.Trinidad, northern Venezuela, northeastern Colombia; introduced in Curaçao, Netherland Antilles, Tobago, possibly Jamaica and Barbados
Roraima green-rumped parrotlet or Schlegel’s parrotlet(F. p. cyanochlorus)Males’ purple-blue markings are darker than the nominate species’; females are brighter yellow-green.upper Rio Branco, Roraima, northern Brazil
Amazon green-rumped parrot or delicate parrotlet or Santarem passerine parrotlet(F. p. deliciosus)Males’ backs and rumps are brighter emerald green tinted with pale blue; primaries and secondaries pale blue with purple-blue near feather shafts. Females’ foreheads are more yellow.northern Brazil

Distribution and habitat

Green-rumped parrotlets are found in tropical South America, from Caribbean regions of Colombia, Venezuela and Trinidad south and east to the Guianas and Brazil, on the lower Amazon River. It has been introduced in Jamaica, Curaçao, Barbados and Tobago, and was not recorded on Trinidad prior to 1916. They are the only parrotlet species to occur in the Caribbean.

Green-rumped parrotlets are fairly common in open, semi-arid habitat and are found residing in dry scrubland, deciduous woodland, gallery forest, farmland, forest edges, and deforested areas throughout their range. While they are non-migratory, they may wander locally to locate sources of food. They are not found at altitudes greater than 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) above sea level.

Conservation

The global population size is not known, but this species has been described as widespread and common. However, there is strong evidence that populations are decreasing, which is likely related to habitat destruction by deforestation. The species has been classified as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List.

Behavior and ecology

Social

Green-rumped parrotlets are very gregarious and roost communally; they are often seen in flocks of up to 100 individuals.

Green-rumped parrotlets make light, twittering calls. While in flocks, calls are louder and more penetrating. Contact calls, similar to names, are individually distinct and are used for individual mate recognition. Each call varies in duration, frequency, and pitch.

Green-rumped parrotlets have been observed in flocks consisting of combinations of breeding male-female pairs, nonbreeding male-female pairs, male-male pairs, and individual nonbreeding males; the number of each type depends on the season. Extra-pair copulation is relatively uncommon (less than 8% of young are conceived through extra-pair fertilization).

Reproduction

Green-rumped parrotlets form strong pair bonds and rarely switch mates, but typically only breed with the same individual for 1-2 seasons. Almost half of wild females attempt a second brood during their breeding season. Green-rumped parrotlets breed during the rainy season (May-November), though each subspecies tends to breed during different months. They typically make their nests in unlined tree cavities, holes found in arboreal termite nests, or in cavities in wooden fence posts.

The female lays 5-6 small white eggs over a period of 9–16 days. The female usually initiates incubation after the first egg is laid, leading to asynchronous hatching which begins 18–22 days after the start of incubation. Depending on the clutch size, hatching concludes 2–14 days after the first egg hatches. Fledging occurs 29–35 days after hatching, with the clutch fledging over a period of 14 days on average.

The unusual length of the green-rumped parrotlet’s nestling period is believed to be caused, or at least influenced, by the low levels of available nutrients and minerals for young found in typical green-rumped parrotlet habitat. Because of the difference in hatching time, not all chicks are the same size when they are young. Research has been done on resource allocation between different chick sizes by green-rumped parrotlet parents. It was shown that male parents tend to feed larger chicks more often, while females are far more likely to feed smaller individuals first because of their begging habits – smaller chicks tend to beg more, while larger chicks are more submissive. This effect has also been observed in other parrot species.

Research has shown that by planning asynchronous hatching, parent parrotlets don’t have to spend as much time expending the high levels of energy associated with brooding, but the amount of energy expended does not change.

It has been observed that over the course of mating and raising a brood of chicks, a female green-rumped parrotlet’s mass varies greatly. Female individuals gained up to 25% more mass before laying and maintained this mass through incubation until hatching began. The amount of mass lost over the brooding and fledging periods was dependent on the size of the brood. It is believed that this mass change is caused by a combination of brooding starvation, adaptation to a new lifestyle, and sexual activity.

Diet

Green-rumped parrotlets primarily eat seeds from grasses and forbs, as well as flowers, buds, berries, and fruits. They have also been observed to eat the seeds from fruit trees including Annona sp. and guava.

Aviculture

Green-rumped parrotlets are bred in captivity and kept as pets, though they are less common than some other Forpus species. Imports of wild green-rumped parrotlets into the United States are prohibited under the Wild Bird Conservation Act and international trade is limited by other laws, so aviculture is dependent on existing captive populations.

The Green-rumped Parrotlet is found in northern Colombia, the Netherlands Antilles and from northern Venezuela east to Brazil. Green overall, these small parrots have a gray tinged hindneck and blue on the primary coverts, underwing-coverts and greater coverts. Green-rumped Parrotlets prefer semi-open lowland areas such as gallery forest edge, second growth, thornbush and cactus scrub, and mangroves. The diet of these parrots consists mainly of grass seeds, as well as berries, fruit, leafbuds and blossoms. Green-rumped Parrotlets nest in hollows in stumps, tree trunks, and arboreal termitariums. Although these birds are heavily traded in Venezuela, their population remains stable and may possibly even be increasing in response to the continued clearance of forest throughout its range.

Fuentes: Wikipedia/eBird/xeno-canto/WikiAves/Neotropical Birds

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