White-winged Parakeet (Brotogeris versicolurus)

White-winged Parakeet


The white-winged parakeet (Brotogeris versicolurus), or canary-winged parakeet is a small parrot native to the Amazon River basin from southeast Colombia to the river's mouth in Brazil. Caged birds have been released and the birds have established self-sustaining populations in Lima, Peru, Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, and Miami, Florida areas of the United States, and in Puerto Rico. Although feral birds are showing some recent declines as nesters in the United States, they seem to be doing well in their native habitat. The white-winged parakeet typically is 22 cm in length, and is mostly green in color. It has a trailing yellow edge on its folded wings. Its most distinguished characteristic is the white wing patches most noticed when the bird is in flight. It is closely related to the yellow-chevroned parakeet, and the two have often been considered conspecific.

Distribution And Habitat

The White-winged Parakeet is native to northern and central South America (Raffaele and others 1998). It is introduced and established on Puerto Rico, where it is locally common in the lowlands (Camacho Rodríguez and others 1999, Oberle 2018, Raffaele and others 1998) and has greatly expanded its range in recent years including near college campuses and urban areas where large trees abound (Falcón and Tremblay 2018). Habitat also includes coastal woodlands, low hills, and foothills of higher mountains, as well as towns and urban areas (Raffaele and others 1998) including farms, gardens, and city parks (Oberle 2018). The atlas fieldwork yielded a total of 79 records within 50 hexagons or 10 percent of the 479 total hexagons (see map). Of the 50 hexagons where this species was found, breeding met the atlas definition of confirmed in 12 percent (6) of the hexagons, probable in 32 percent (16), and possible in 56 percent (28) (see map). White-winged 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.

White-winged Parakeet Distribution

Breeding Habits

The White-winged Parakeet nests inside termite nests located in palms or trees (Oberle 2018, Raffaele and others 1998). Atlas results suggest that this species breeds throughout the year with 195White-winged Parakeet/Periquito Aliblancothe most breeding activity during March, May, and June (see chart). Overall, the breeding activity peaks in May, and it mostly takes place within the subtropical moist forest life zone (see chart). Atlas findings show that this species breeds mostly within the subtropical moist forest life zone (80 percent of the hexagons) (see table and map). Results indicate that it also breeds within the subtropical dry forest life zone (8 percent of the hexagons. It might also breed at higher elevations within subtropical wet forest life zones (12 percent of the hexagons) (see table and map).


The current global population trend of the White-winged Parakeet has not been quantified or assessed, but the species is described as common (Stotz and others 1996), and due to the lack of evidence for any threats or declines, the overall population is suspected to be stable. The population trend in Puerto Rico has been described as increasing (Falcón and Tremblay 2018). This species is currently listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN (BirdLife International 2018). Locally, this species is not listed in any of the threatened categories of PRDNER and USFWS. In Puerto Rico, the White-winged Parakeet has a protected habitat of about 6 percent or 66 km2 of the total area covered by the hexagons where evidence of breeding was found for this species (1196 km2).