Monk Parakeet
Myiopsitta monachus

Monk Parakeet

28-31 cm. length and 120-140 weight g

The Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) has the forecrown (up to the half of the crown), the lores and cheeks, pale ash gray; the rear of the crown and nape, grass-green, fading to green, slightly more off, in the the mantle, the back and scapulars; rump green. Primary coverts, blue; other coverts, green.

Flight feather Blue by up. Under the wings has the lesser coverts green, the coverts more large and innerwebs of the the flight feathers, blue. Throat and upper area of the chest, Ash Grey, with pale edges to the feathers, giving a beaming effect; Bottom of the chest, pale yellow; Abdomen, the thighs and vent, pale green.

Upper, the tail is green with blue in the Center; below, pale bluish-green.

Bill color horn; Brown of the irises; legs grey.

Both sexes are similar.

Immature has the front green-tinted.

Subspecies description:

  • Myiopsitta monachus calita

    (Jardine & Selby, 1830) – Less of the nominal species (27cm.) with wings more blue and head dark gray.

  • Myiopsitta monachus cotorra

    (Vieillot, 1818) – Very similar to the subspecies Myiopsitta monachus calita, but supposedly more bright, belly least yellow.

  • Myiopsitta monachus monachus

    (Boddaert, 1783) – Nominal.


The Monk Parakeet is, mainly, in dry wooded areas or fields open with trees, such as gallery forest, isolated thickets, palm groves, forests, linens and areas with thorny thickets with Cactus, also in land cultivation and in urban areas with trees, mainly below 1.000 m.

They tend to be observed in pairs or flocks of 30-50 individuals; with much larger meetings outside of breeding season. Rest communally, Sometimes the nests, While you are not playing.


    There are reports of lines of transmission damaged by the birds to the be nesting. In general, in the area in which have been introduced these birds, the impacts are associated mainly to the behaviors of nesting. This species of birds build large, bulky nests in communications and transmission towers, and distribution poles. In the towers of transmission represent simply a problem of maintenance and does not affect the communications, but in electrical installations can cause blackouts and fires since the nests can create electrical circuits. This problem intensifies during rainy and humid climates. The nests of these birds can cause significant damage to the facilities power including a decrease in electrical reliability, damage to equipment and loss in income due to power outages caused by nests, an increase in the maintenance and operation costs associated with the removal of nests and repair of structures damaged as well as issues of public safety (ISC 2011).

Source: Naturalist


It is the only, between the parrots, It builds, usually, his nest with twigs (commonly Celtis shrubs) in branches of tree (sometimes in telephone poles, etc.). Sometimes build nests alone (especially in those areas more dry), Although they are usually communal (until 100 nests, usually around 10) combined to form large structures cluttered of several meters of width, with inputs from the side or by under. Each nest It is built with remains of chewed branches. The nests are sometimes used by them Spot-winged Falconet (Spiziapteryx circumcincta) and other birds, to nest and rest. A nest can get to to weigh 50 kilos and be formed by more than 20.000 remained.

The breeding season, in your area natural's distribution, is between October-December. The clutch generally 4-6 eggs, Although according to some sources, the laying You can understand between 1-11 eggs.


Its diet includes a wide range of seeds wild and cultivated, wild fruits, as well as different material plant in which will include seeds of grass and grains, stems of cactus, roots vegetables and fruits cultivated, sometimes also insects and their larvae. Feeds, both in trees as in the soil, sometimes with other species including pigeons and birds of the genus Molothrus.


Size of the area of distribution (reproduction / resident): 2720000 km2

The Monk Parakeet lives in the lowlands of the South of South America, to the East of the Andes front Bolivia to Rawson Department (Chubut) in Argentina.

Observed in the East and North of Bolivia in the southeast of Peace, to the south, in Cochabamba, West of Santa Cruz, North of Chuquisaca and possibly in other areas (for example, Tarija), Paraguay and South of Brazil, in the South and West of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso from the South and two-thirds of the southwest of Rio Grande do Sul, in all the Uruguay and in the Argentina, to the South of Rio Negro and probably to the North of Chubut.

Generally common and abundant in Uruguay and Rio Grande do Sul (Although does not play there). It is the Parrot more common in large part of its area of distribution and largely local expansion is due to the plantations of Euralyptus in areas without trees, partial deforestation in other areas, the Elimination of predators and the expansion of crops.

Pursued in several areas, Although the overall effect on its population is apparently slight.

Wild populations established in many towns outside of the range, including Puerto Rico, Florida, New York City (where there are fears of that could convert is in a plague agriculture important) and several cities more than them EE.UU. There have also been populations of the Monk Parakeet in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Berlin (Germany), Austria, Belgium, Italy, Spain (including the Islas Canarias) and several places over the Mediterranean.

Is a trade in these birds, both local, as international, with large numbers of this species in captivity.

Distribution of subspecies:


• Current red list category of the UICN: Least concern.

• Population trend: Increasing.

Justification of the population

Global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as “common” (Stotz et to the., 1996) and ‘common to abundant‘ (pit et to the., 1997).

Justification of trend

The population is suspected to have increased as a consequence of the creation of new areas of habitat suitable (pit et to the., 1997).


The species has been marketed strongly: from 1981, When is included in the Appendix II of the CITES, they have been 710.686 individuals captured in the Middle wild for the Commerce International (database CITES from the UNEP-WCMC, January 2005).

Cotorra Argentina in captivity:

Renowned for her beauty and intelligence, the Monk Parakeet is a pet people, especially in North America, Since the Decade of the 1960 ’ s (ISC, 2011). Can learn to imitate great amount of words, but at the same time are very bustling, demanding of attention and affection, with much character, and very territorial, by what not is rare that attack to their own owners when the manipulated or manipulate your cage. In captivity is reproduced with ease, but to the have many colonies in State Wildlife, not be usually stimulate its reproduction in captivity.
Its life expectancy It 3-10 years in freedom and 25 to 35 years in captivity (Alvarez-Romero et to the., 2008).

Before trying to acquire to an of these birds as mascot there that know that in many countries is prohibited its sale to the be listed as species invasive.

Alternative names:

Monk Parakeet, Monk Parakeet (Monk), South American monk parakeet (English).
Perriche veuve, Conure veuve (French).
Mönchsittich, Mönchssittich, Südamerikanischer Mönchsittich (German).
catorra, catorrita, Caturrita, papo-branco, periquito-do-Pantanal (Portuguese).
Cata Aliazul, Cotorra, Cotorra Argentina, Cotorra Común, Cotorrita, Perico Monje (Spanish).
Cotorra (Argentina).
Cotorra argentina (Chile).
Cotorrita (Paraguay).
Cotorra, Cotorra Común (Uruguay).
Periquito (Venezuela).

Pieter Boddaert
Pieter Boddaert

Scientific classification:

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Genus: Myiopsitta
Scientific name: Myiopsitta monachus
Citation: (Boddaert, 1783)
Protonimo: Psittacus monachus

Monk Parakeet images:

Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Use of cookies

This web site uses cookies so that you have the best user experience. If you continue browsing you are giving your consent for the acceptance of the aforementioned cookies and the acceptance of our cookies policy, Click the link for more information.plugin cookies

Notice of cookies
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x