Canary-wing, White-wing, Orange-chin, Golden-wing, Cobalt-wing
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Broto, Pocket Parrot, BeeBee Parrot, Tovi Parakeet - these are but a few of the names given to the charming family of birds otherwise known as Brotogeris Parakeets or Brotos for short.
Brotogeris parakeets make excellent companion birds. They are intelligent and curious, playful and clownish, affectionate and charming. Smaller than a Cockatiel, they are about 7-9" from head to tail, with predominantly green feathers. Depending on the species, they also have varying markings of yellow, white, blue, orange, and grey on their wings and head.
The most commonly recognized member of the Brotogeris genus are the Grey-cheeked parakeets. Grey-cheeked parakeets have been the most common of the Broto species kept as pets. They were imported by the thousands until the late 1980's. Because they were so plentiful and inexpensive, very few were set up to breed. As serious Broto breeders have discovered in the past 5-10 years, Grey-cheeks are inconsistent and problematic breeders, and very few young are being produced - not nearly enough to replace the older imported birds who are now dying at an increasing rate. Sadly, owners who were devoted to their now-deceased Grey-cheeks are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to find another one.
Many of these former grey-cheek owners are now discovering the similarly charming and intelligent Canary-winged parakeet, another of the Brotogeris species. Canary-winged parakeets are similar in size to grey-cheeks, and share the same endearing qualities. Their feathers are a lighter and brighter lime green, with yellow wing feathers as their species-specific identifier. Another unique identifier Canary-wings possess are big, bright eyes. Canary-winged parakeets make wonderful pets, and some think that many individuals are better talkers and have a more analytical aspect to their intelligence than the Grey-cheeks.
At Shady Pines Aviary we have had great success breeding Canary-winged parakeets, and many are available each Spring. Click here for current availability.
Other Brotogeris species whose numbers are now slowly increasing, but who are not yet plentiful in American aviculture, are the orange-chinned parakeet, white-winged parakeet, golden-winged parakeet, and cobalt-winged parakeet. We are fortunate to have bred each of these species in 2005. The remaining two Brotogeris species, the Tui parakeet and the plain parakeet, are practically non-existent in this country.
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