Orange-fronted Parakeet (Eupsittula canicularis)

Orange-fronted Parakeet


The orange-fronted parakeet or orange-fronted conure (Eupsittula canicularis), also known as the half-moon conure, is a medium-sized parrot that is resident from western Mexico to Costa Rica. Orange-fronted parakeets are 22.5 cm (8.9 in) long and weigh 80 g (2.8 oz). The adult is mainly green, paler and yellower below and with an olive tone to the breast. The wings have blue outer primaries and yellow linings, and the pointed tail is tipped with blue. The head is distinctive, with a blue crown, orange forehead, bare yellow eye-ring, yellow iris and white bill. Young birds are similar to the adults, but with much less orange on the forehead.

Distribution And Habitat

The Orange-fronted Parakeet is native to Mexico and Central America (Raffaele and others 1998). It was introduced to Puerto Rico, where it is locally uncommon from Cabezas de San Juan near Fajardo (Raffaele and others 1998) and scattered throughout the Fajardo Christmas Bird Count circle (Wunderle, Jr. 2017) and nearby (Falcón and Tremblay 2018). In Puerto Rico, the species usually inhabits wooded pastures and urban areas with ornamental trees (Raffaele and others 1998). However, in its native habitat it occurs mostly in tropical deciduous and semideciduous forests, lower cloud forests, agricultural areas, disturbed areas, mango plantations, coconut palms, and fl at coastal plains (Hardy 1965, Navarro 1994). The atlas fieldwork yielded a total of 22 records within 15 hexagons or 3 percent of the 479 total hexagons (see map). Of the 15 hexagons where the Orange-fronted Parakeet was found, breeding met the atlas definition of confirmed in 13 percent (two) of the hexagons, probable in 53 percent (eight), and possible in 27 percent (four), while the species was observed in 7 percent (one) of the hexagons but without evidence of breeding (see map). Orange-fronted Parakeet distribution. The map shows the highest breeding code by hexagon and overlaying the ecological life zones in Puerto Rico. Note: percentages may not total 100 due to rounding. 189Orange-fronted Parakeet/Periquito Frentianaranjado

Orange-fronted Parakeet Distribution

Breeding Habits

The Orange-fronted Parakeets nest has not yet been found on Puerto Rico (Raffaele and others 1998). However, it may excavate nest holes in arboreal termitaria (Sazima 1989). Atlas results suggest that this species breeds from February to July and to a lesser extent during December (see chart). Overall, the breeding activity peaks in March, and it mostly takes place within the subtropical moist forest life zone (see chart). Atlas results show that this species breeds mostly within the subtropical moist forest life zone (79 percent of the hexagons) (see table and map). It also breeds in subtropical rain forest life zones at higher elevations (7 percent of the hexagons).


The Orange-fronted Parakeet is currently listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN (BirdLife International 2018), while in Puerto Rico this parakeet has increased in population size and has expanded in range (Falcón and Tremblay 2018). Locally, this species is not listed in any of the threatened categories of PRDNER and USFWS.In Puerto Rico, the Orange-fronted Parakeet has a protected habitat in land of 14 percent or 46 km2 of the total area covered by the hexagons where evidence of breeding was found for this species (334 km2).