Shady Pines Aviary, Breeder of Caiques and Brotogeris Parakeets

Blue-Winged Parrotlet

Forpus xanthopterygius

  • Parrots of the World, Joseph M. Forshaw (1978)

    MALE: general plumage green, paler and more yellowish on underparts; generally a few violet-blue feathers on bend of wing; primary and secondary-coverts violet-blue; outer webs of secondaries green becoming violet-blue towards bases; under wing-coverts deep violet blue; bright emerald green feathers surrounding eye; lower back and rump violet-blue; tail bright green above, dusky green below; bill horn colored with grey at base of upper mandible; iris dark brown; legs grey.

    FEMALE: no blue markings, all being replaced by green; forehead and facial area greenish-yellow; similar to female passerinus but more yellowish on underparts, particularly on flanks.

    IMMATURES: like adults, but males have less extensive blue markings on wings, and the under wing-coverts and rump are green variably intermixed with violet-blue.

    LENGTH: 12cm. (4¾")


    • F. x. flavissimus - MALE like xanthopterygius, but general plumage paler, more yellowish-green; forehead, cheeks, and throat bright lemon yellow; violet-blue on wings, lower back, and rump slightly paler. FEMALE similar to xanthopterygius, but general plumage paler and more yellowish-green, particularly on forehead, facial area, and lower underparts.

    • F. x. olallae - MALE similar to crassirostris, but violet-blue of wings, rump, and lower back darker, while that of under wing-coverts is paler; green of upperparts averages slightly darker. FEMALE similar to crassirostris.

    • F. x. crassirostris - MALE like xanthopterygius, but all blue markings paler; primary-coverts pale greyish violet- blue contrasting with darker violet-blue secondary-coverts; upper mandible compressed laterally at the center; smaller size. FEMALE like xanthopterygius, but green of general plumage less yellowish; smaller size.

    • F. x. spengeli - MALE similar to xanthopterygius, but lower back and rump pale turquoise blue; innermost primary-coverts violet-blue; secondary-coverts and bases of secondaries turquoise blue; under wing-coverts and axillaries turquoise blue intermixed with violet blue. FEMALE like xanthopterygius, but with yellowish forehead more conspicuous.

    • F. x. flavescens - MALE like xanthopterygius, but green of general plumage paler and more yellowish; forehead, cheeks, and underparts distinctly greenish-yellow; lower back and rump much paler blue. FEMALE similar to xanthopterygius, but general plumage paler and more yellowish, particularly on forehead and facial area.


  • The Atlas of Parrots, Dr. David Alderton (1991)


    SEXES: The cock is mainly green, of a brighter shade around the eyes and ear coverts. The lower back and rump, as well as the under wing coverts and the wing coverts themselves, are violet- blue. There may be some odd violet- blue feathers evident at the bend of the wing. Both primary and secondary coverts are violet-blue, with the outer webs of the secondaries being similarly colored towards their bases. The tail feathers are green, being more dusky beneath. Beak horn in color, with a darker gray area at the base of the upper beak; legs gray; irides dark brown.

    Hens have greenish plumage where the cock is blue. Both the forehead and facial area are a bright shade of greenish yellow, with a strong yellow tone also on the underparts. Can be distinguished from F. passerinus hens by their grayish feet.

    YOUNG BIRDS: Resemble adults, although young cocks have reduced violet-blue areas on the wings, with the rump as well as the under wing coverts being green with a prominent violet-blue suffusion.

    RECOGNIZED SUBSPECIES: Six. These are as follows:

    • F. x. xanthopterygius: Found in central and eastern Brazil extending up to northern Bahia. This race also occurs in Paraguay and the northeast of Argentina, where it is found in both Corrientes and Misiones.

    • F. x. flavissimus: Intergrades with the nominate race in northern Bahia, extending northwards to Ceara, Maranhao and Paraiba in the northeast of Brazil. Can be distinguished by its paler, yellower green plumage, in the case of cocks. The forehead, cheeks and throat are a pronounced shade of lemon-yellow. The blue plumage over the rump and wings is a lighter shade of cobalt. Hens can also be recognized on the basis of their yellower coloration overall. This race is known both as the Blue-rumped Parrotlet and as the Ceara Blue-winged Parrotlet.

    • F. x. olallae: Recorded just from two areas in Brazil, on the north bank of the River Amazon. Found here in the vicinity of Itacoatiara and Codajas, in eastern Amazonas, northwest Brazil. Similar to F. x. crassirostris, and may actually be conspecific. Cocks are said to differ however, because in the case of F. x. olallae, the lower back and rump are a darker shade of violet-blue, like the area on the wings. In contrast however, the under wing coverts are paler, whereas the green of the upperparts is darker in coloration.

    • F. x. crassirostris: Extends from the far southeast of Colombia and the neighboring northeast of Peru via the Amazon and its tributaries westwards to the vicinity of central Amazonas in the northwest of Brazil. Smaller in size than the nominate race, with the blue markings of cocks being noticeably paler. The primary coverts are a pale grayish shade of violet-blue, with the secondary coverts being darker. The beak in this case is noticeably larger, and the irides are reputedly yellow. Hens can be distinguished from those of other races again by the size of the beak, and by the green coloration on both the forehead and cheeks, which has less of a yellowish tinge. Known as the Large-billed Parrotlet.

    • F. x. spengeli: This isolated race is restricted to northern Colombia, whereat is found in the Caribbean coastal area, both southwest and west of the Santa Marta Mountains. Also extends along the Magdalena Valley, reaching northern Bolivar. Similar to the nominate race, but recognizable by the pale turquoise-blue coloration of the lower back and rump. Upper tail coverts turquoise-blue near the rump, becoming green at the base of the tail feathers. The under wing coverts and axillaries are a combination of turquoise and violet blues, with the secondary coverts being turquoise-blue. The inner primary coverts are violet-blue. The tail feathers are yellowish green. The forehead and crown, as well as the ear coverts are emerald-green, with the feathers of the throat being bright green. Beak is horn in color, and relatively large in size, with these parrotlets appearing quite stocky. Hens can be recognized by their bright green plumage, most noticeable over the back and rump. The forehead, front of the crown and most of the cheeks are yellowish. This subspecies is known both as Spengel's Parrotlet and the Barranquilla Parrotlet.

    • F. x. flavescens: Found in central-eastern and southeastern parts of Peru, as well as in the eastern Bolivian provinces of Beni and Santa Cruz. Cocks in this case resemble those of the nominate race, but are identifiable by their paler and more yellowish green plumage. In this instance, the underparts, as well as the forehead and cheeks, are greenish yellow. The blue coloration over the lower back and rump is significantly paler. Hens in contrast are also more yellowish, especially on the head. The green of the underparts is also paler than in F. x. xanthopterygius. This race is often described as Salvadori's Parrotlet.


  • Encyclopedia of Aviculture (1972)

    Listed as subspecies to green-rumped. See F. p. vividus



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