Burrowing Parakeet
Cyanoliseus patagonus

Burrowing Parakeet

39-52 cm. length between 260 and 280 g. of weight.

Burrowing Parakeet

The Burrowing Parakeet (Cyanoliseus patagonus) has the forecrown, crown, lores, cheeks and nape olive brown with slight yellowish tinge; sides of neck, the mantle and back Brown olive; rump and uppertail-coverts bright canary yellow.

Blades brown, some slightly blue; covered primary blue, other yellowish olive brown. Primaries and Outer secondaries dark blue with edges innerwebs distal; inner secondary bluish brown. Underwing-coverts Yellow olive; underside of flight feather brown. Breast olive brown with white-cream area at the top of chest; rest of the underparts yellow-orange red patch through central belly. Uppertail brown tinted blue, especially next to the tips; undertail brown.

The bill It is grayish-black; the periophthalmic skin skin whitish; the irises is pale yellow; the legs They are pale yellowish brown.

Both sexes similar. Immature has horn upper mandible and the irises brown.

  • Sound of the Burrowing Parakeet.

Description Burrowing Parakeet subspecies
  • Cyanoliseus patagonus andinus

    (Dabbene & Lillo, 1913) – Similar to the species nominal but it lacks the bright yellow belly with pale areas on the sides of chest and rump olive colored duller. This and subspecies Cyanoliseus patagonus conlara they have the upperwing-coverts more brown than the nominal species.

  • Cyanoliseus patagonus bloxami

    (Olson, 1995) – Size larger than the nominal species (wings 250-263), upperparts, throat lower chest and dark brown; bill larger and heavier and patches creamy most extensive on the sides of chest (in some birds merge to form a band breast pale).

  • Cyanoliseus patagonus conlara

    (nores & Yzurieta, 1983) – Breast darker than the other Argentine subspecies.

  • Cyanoliseus patagonus patagonus

    (Vieillot, 1818) – Nominal.


The species usually inhabit areas open pastures, although it has also been reported in Savanna, wooded valleys cliffs and farmland some 2.000 m. Usually in a fairly arid land, although often it found near elevations or streams. Gregarious, forming large flocks, sometimes exceeding 1.000 birds, with common roosts trees, on wiring (sometimes in villages) and tunnels dug to nest.


It reproduces colonially in warrens carved into cliffs (usually limestone or sandstone Chile) often with stunning views. In San Luis, Argentina, reproduction is reported in the wet season (November–April), the birds return to nest in the cliffs lay eggs in September and November to December in San Luis, spreading of bird breeding sites in April; apparently earlier in Chile. Clutch 2-4 eggs. The male takes care of feeding the female during the incubation period. The young leave the nest to 2 months of age, However, They continue to be fed by their parents until 6 months of age.


The diet of the Burrowing Parakeet It consists mainly of seeds and fruits predominance of fruit in the summer months (November to February). Food reported include berries of buckthorn joke and Discaria, fruit of Geoffroea decorticans, Prosopis caldenia, P. chilensis and P. flexuosa and seeds of Carduus mariana. Sometimes damaged grain crops; often it feeds on the floor or around.


Extending its range (breeding / resident): 1.590.000 km2

The Burrowing Parakeet They are distributed by the South South America, extending from northern Santa Cruz and Chubut in Argentina, passing by Rio Negro and Pampa, up to Buenos Aires, San Luis and Córdoba, San Juan, La Rioja, Catamarca, Tucumán and Salta, reaching westward across southern Uruguay.

They were recorded in the early 1920 from the center of Formosa, Argentina, away from Andes mountains, and above the center Chile from the North of The lakes to north of Atacama, but now they are confined to a few localities in the foothills of the Andes, for example in Bio Bio.

Will produce some seasonal movements, including the northward migration of birds south in the Argentine winter and shifts down Chile.

In Argentina It is locally common or abundant, although in some places (p. e.g.. in Córdoba and Buenos Aires Eastern) They are rare or occasional. Few and far between in Uruguay. drastic decline during the twentieth century Chile, so that the subspecies Cyanoliseus patagonus bloxami It is considered at risk, with an estimated population of less than 3.000 individuals at the end of the decade 1980. The decrease in parts of the Argentina It is attributed to the catch for the trade, the hunting for food, converting grassland and arable land persecution as crop pest. Probably continues to decline overall.

Burrowing Parakeet subspecies distribution


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

• Population trend: Decreasing.

• Population size : 95000 individuals.

Justification of the red list category

Although the demographic trend It appears to be declining, It not believed to be declining fast enough to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable at the discretion of the demographic trend (> 30% decrease in ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and therefore does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the criterion of population size (<10.000 individuos maduros con un descenso continuo estimado en >10% in ten years or three generations, or specific population structure). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least concern.

Justification of the population

The species is still common in many parts of its range in Argentina, with only small contractions reported in range Córdoba (R. M. Fraga a slightly. 2003). The population size of four subspecies was estimated as follows by MASELLO et al. (2011): Cyanoliseus patagonus patagonus 43.330 nests, Cyanoliseus patagonus conlara 1.700 individuals, Cyanoliseus patagonus andinus 2.000 nests, Cyanoliseus patagonus bloxami 5.000-6.000 individuals. Based on these figures, the population Total overall can be about 95.000 mature individuals.

Justification trend

They suspected that the population is declining due to continuing habitat destruction and unsustainable levels of exploitation.


The species has been the subject of a intense trade: from 1981, year it was included in the Appendix II of the CITES, they have been 122.914 individuals caught in international trade (UNEP-WCMC CITES CITES Trade Database, January 2005).

Conservation actions underway

The species is included in the Appendix II of the CITES.

Burrowing Parrot in captivity:

The average life expectancy is of 15-20 years in captivity. Protected by Appendix II of the CITES.

To help conservation Burrowing Parakeet, You can report your hunt, sale, trade and illegal possession, thus, We will be cooperating with the conservation of this species and not be complicit in the decline of their populations and their future extinction of wild.

Alternative names:

Burrowing Conure, Burrowing Parakeet, Burrowing Parrot, Patagonian Burrowing Parrot, Patagonian Conure, Patagonian Parrot (English).
Conure de Patagonie, Perriche de Patagonie, Perruche de Patagonie (French).
Felsensittich, Felsen-Sittich (German).
Periquito-das-barreiras (Portuguese).
Loro Barranquero, Loro de la Patagonia, Loro Patagonico, Tricahue (Spanish).
Loro barranquero (Argentina).
Tricahue (Chile).
Loro barranquero, Loro Patagonico (Uruguay).
Perico Barranquero (Mexico).

Scientific classification:

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Genus: cyanoliseus
Scientific name: Cyanoliseus patagonus
Citation: (Vieillot, 1818)
Protonimo: Psittacus patagonus

Burrowing Parakeet Pictures:


Burrowing Parakeet (Cyanoliseus patagonus)


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


(1) – A Burrowing Parrot captive in Madeira By Rakkhi Samarasekera from London, United Kingdom (P6122982Uploaded by Snowmanradio) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(2) – Two Burrowing Parrots in Limari Province, Chile By Gerzo Gallardo (Flickr: Parrots) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(3) – Tricahues couple burrowing parrot on the RN River Cypresses By BioVipah (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(4) – Burrowing Parrot (also known as the Patagonian Conure) to Lille Zoo, France By Olivier Duquesne (originally posted to Flickr as Perroquet) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(5) – A Burrowing Parrot at Birds of Eden, an aviary in Western Cape, South Africa By Dick Daniels (http://carolinabirds.org /) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
(6) – A painting of a Burrowing Parrot, also known as Patagonian Conure, (originally captioned “Psittacara patagonica. Patagonian Parrakeet-Maccaw”) by Edward Lear 1812-1888 – Wikipedia

Sounds: Cristian Pinto, XC380836. accessible www.xeno-canto.org/380836.

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