Sunday, December 11, 2011

Burrowing Parakeet - Cyanoliseus patagonus

The burrowing parrot (Cyanoliseus patagonus) is a bird species in the parrot family. It belongs to the smaller long-tailed Arinae (macaws and conures), and is also known as the Patagonian conure. The burrowing parrot belongs to the monotypic genus Cyanoliseus, but the species is not monotypic, having several subspecies.

It is mainly found in Argentina. A very much reduced population still survives in Chile, and migration of some Argentine populations to Uruguay has been reported for the winter months. Sometimes strong westerly winds bring some individuals to the Falkland Islands.

Its natural habitat is the arid bush steppe community known as Monte.

The burrowing parrot has a monogamous mating system with very strong bi-parental care. Genetic testing has recently shown that this species is one of a few animals that is genetically monogamous in a socially monogamous mating system. Nest parasitism is not known to occur in this species.


Subspecies of Burrowing Parakeet - Cyanoliseus patagonus

The following four subspecies are currently known:
  • Cyanoliseus patagonus patagonus, Patagonian conure
  • Cyanoliseus patagonus byroni, greater Patagonian conure
  • Cyanoliseus patagonus andinus
  • Cyanoliseus patagonus conlara
The larger the red abdominal patch, the larger the better quality of the bird. In a study of around 40 pairs, the males with the largest and most intense red patches paired with the females with the same. This carries down so that pairs tend to have the same size patch. Nestlings from males with large more intense patches also grow faster and weigh more. 

Burrowing Parakeet - Cyanoliseus patagonus Images