Red-fronted Parrotlet
Touit costaricensis

Red-fronted Parrotlet




17,5 cm.. length.

The Red-fronted Parrotlet (Touit costaricensis) has the forecrown, anteriorly of crown, lores and stripe under the eyes, red; sides neck, cheeks and upperparts, green with the back of the crown and nape slightly paler and yellower. Inner wing-coverts green; exterior and median coverts and wing leading edge, red; primary coverts black.

Primaries and outer secondaries, black with green margin to outerweb of the primaries. Inner underwing-coverts, yellow, the outer, red. Feathers on base of the beak, on chin and throat, brighter yellowish green; the chest, the belly and undertail-coverts, green tinted yellowish. The tail greenish yellow with a black tip (except the outermost feathers) and dark green subterminally. Bill pale yellow; cere and bare periophthalmic, grey; irises grey; legs slaty.

The female It has less red on the upperwing-coverts, and perhaps more yellow in the underwing-coverts; probably, on average, are smaller than males. The immature It has little or no red on the head.


The Red-fronted Parrotlet It has sometimes been treated as conspecific with the Blue-fronted Parrotlet (Touit dilectissimus) North of South America and Panama. While these taxa are clearly allies and share a recent common ancestor, most authors now treat them as separate based on their clear and consistent differences in plumage. The structural divergence can also exist in the Red-fronted Parrotlet longer seems to show the uppertail-coverts (extending almost to the end of the tail) its counterpart Southern, While (although the sample is small) it suggests a sexual dimorphism by the length of the wings and tail on Red-fronted Parrotlet but not in Blue-fronted Parrotlet.


Generally observed in the canopy humid forests at middle altitudes. It moves towards the thicket, on forest edges, flying over the clear, sometimes in the lowlands (sometimes at sea level, especially in southeast Costa Rica), where perhaps it is a seasonal visitor. Tolerates some habitat alterations.

Observed in association with Red-headed Barbet (Eubucco bourcierii) and Blue-and-gold Tanager (Bangsia arcaei), both species associated in very humid cold forests in the upper tropical and subtropical areas.

Observed - 3.000 meters in Costa Rica in the early dry season and reported regularly at altitudes 500-1.000 m during the wet season. Generally in pairs or small flocks family.


The family size usually between 4-5 birds, suggests the clutch usual 2-3 eggs. probably plays during the season, dry.


Feed of fruits trees and epiphytes, such as Cavendishia and Clusia, but probably also include flowers and seeds.


Size of its range (breeding/resident): 10.000 km2

The few records Red-fronted Parrotlet existing in Costa Rica come, mainly, the highlands of central-south Caribbean slope, where its range seems to extend to the south, from Monteverde, Turrialba volcano and Lemon.

Although there are no records in much of the east of Costa Rica, its existence can be continuous along the Cordillera de Talamanca (perhaps only in the Caribbean slope) to western Panama. The handful of Panamanian specimens and records from observations, They are mainly from the western highlands to a report from the east, about the Cocle Province.

It is obviously a kind rare and presumably declining due to continued deforestation (at least in the lowlands) in a limited range.



• Current red list category of the UICN: Vulnerable.

• Population trend: Decreasing.

Population size : 2500-9999 specimens.

Justification of the red list category

This species is classified as Vulnerable because the clearing and forest fragmentation at middle elevations, mainly in the Central Volcanic Range and in the Sierra de Tilarán of Costa Rica, It is likely to be causing significant slopes in its small range and (presumably) in population.

Justification of the population

It is estimated that the breeding population of Important Bird Areas of Costa Rica is 1.000 - 4.000 mature individuals (J. And others Craido 2007, J. Sánchez et al., In 2007), so it is believed that the total population may be within the range of 2.500-9.999 mature individuals. This is equivalent to 3.750-14.999 individuals in total, round here 3.500-15.000 individuals.

Justification of trend

It is suspected that the population species is decreasing at a moderate rate, in line with the continuous clearance of their forest habitat in the northern part of its range.

Conservation Actions Underway

CITES Appendix II. Live in several areas protected, including national parks Braulio Carrillo, Tapantí-Cerro de la Muerte and Monteverde, Costa Rica, and La Amistad International Park and adjacent reserves in both countries. However, The legal protection of Palo Seco Protected Forest (BPPS) (a booking Panama adjacent to La Amistad) has not prevented clearance for agriculture (Angehr and Jordan, 1998).

Conservation Actions Proposed

Evaluate the importance of habitat outside the breeding season (J. Created en lit. 2007, J. Sanchez et al., In 2007). Conduct surveys to determine the total size of the population. Study of the ecology of the species (J. Sanchez et al., in bed. , 2007). Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of loss and recovery of forests (J. Sanchez et al., In 2007). Effectively protect the Bosque Protector Palo Seco (BPPS).

"Red-fronted Parrotlet" in captivity:

No reports are known captive birds.

Alternative names:

Red-fronted Parrotlet, Red fronted Parrotlet (English).
Toui du Costa Rica (French).
Costa-Rica-Papagei (German).
Red-fronted Parrotlet (Portuguese).
Cotorrita Costarricense, Lorito de Pecho Rojo, Periquito alirrojo (Spanish).

Scientific classification:

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Genus: Touit
Scientific name: Touit costaricensis
Citation: (Cory, 1913)
Protonimo: Urochroma costaricensis

Images of the "Red-fronted Parrotlet"

Video of the "Red-fronted Parrotlet"


“Red-fronted Parrotlet” (Touit costaricensis)


– Parrots of the World – Forshaw Joseph M
– Parrots A Guide to the Parrots of the World – Tony Juniper & Mike Parr


(1) – Papagei am Rincon de la Vieja by KovacGEO Reisencommunity


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