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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

Yellow-eared Parrot: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Discover fun yellow-eared parrot facts about its appearance, breeding, population, nest, and more!

The yellow-eared parrot, (Ognorhynchus icterotis), is an endangered parrot species that can be spotted in South America only. It has an average length of 17 in (43.1 cm) and an average weight of 10.1 oz (286.3 g). It has a green coloration primarily, with pale lime green underparts. Its name originates from the yellow-colored patch that covers its forehead, ear-coverts, and cheeks. It inhabits humid montane and elfin forest regions, partially cleared terrain, and areas with wax palms. It relies upon wax palms for feeding, nesting, and roosting. This beautiful parrot can also be spotted in the high and long Andes Mountains of Colombia. It is a sight to behold in this magnificent mountainous environment, but the sight of this parrot is a fleeting moment.

It is a very cute-looking parrot, which is why it was historically used as a display animal and a pet bird. Many factors like habitat fragmentation and loss, hunting for its flesh, and urbanization have caused a decline in the population of this species. It has a conservation status of Vulnerable as per the IUCN Red List. It was listed under the Critically Endangered category but was downlisted after its population increased due to significant conservation efforts. Keep reading to get to know more facts about the typical yellow-eared parrot habitat, its population, conservation efforts, and more!

If you enjoyed reading our yellow-eared parrot fun facts, why not check out our fig parrot interesting facts and Amazon parrot surprising facts as well?

Yellow-eared Parrot Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a yellow-eared parrot?

The yellow-eared parrot, (Ognorhynchus icterotis), is a medium-sized bird that belongs to the Ognorhynchus genus and the family Psittacidae. It is one of 350 colorful species of parrots.

What class of animal does a yellow-eared parrot belong to?

Yellow-eared parrots belong to the class of Aves like every other bird species.

How many yellow-eared parrots are there in the world?

This species is an endangered species and there were only 81 birds of this species recorded in the 1999 Colombian census. It has not been spotted in Ecuador since the '90s. This bird species was assumed to be extinct until 1999 April, when it was re-discovered in the Colombian Andes by researchers. After being rediscovered, significant conservation efforts were implemented to increase its population. The yellow-eared parrot population is now stable and the population trend is increasing. There are approximately 1000 mature individuals of this species in Colombia.

Where does a yellow-eared parrot live?

The yellow-eared parrot builds its nest and lives in the wax palms of the Andes Mountain Range in Colombia. It used to be spotted locally in northern Ecuador. It can also be spotted in Colombia in Riosucio, Caldas. It can only be seen in South America.

What is a yellow-eared parrot's habitat?

These birds inhabit humid montane and elfin forest regions, partially cleared terrain, and areas with wax palms. They can be seen in cloud forests at an elevation ranging between 3937-11154.8 ft (1200-3400 m). These birds rely upon wax palms to provide roosting and nesting sites as well as a supply of fruit. This palm is the national tree of Colombia and it grows primarily in the eastern and central Andes. The nests of these birds are built in the hollow trunks of this impressive palm at an elevation between 82-98.4 ft (25-30 m). However, the cutting down of wax palm trees has caused a significant threat to populations of these endangered birds. The palm fronds are also used in Palm Sunday celebrations every year.

Who do yellow-eared parrots live with?

Birds of this species are gregarious and they are typically seen in small flocks when it isn't the breeding season. Their flocks usually comprise one to two dozen birds. They are seen in pairs during the breeding season.

How long does a yellow-eared parrot live?

The lifespan of this parrot is not known yet. However, we do know that most parrots of Colombia have a lifespan of 20-30 years!

How do they reproduce?

These birds are known to nest in their old nests each year. They breed between March and May, in colonies in fully grown wax palms. The nests of these birds are made in hollow trunks at an elevation between 82-98.4 ft (25-30 m). The female bird lays four eggs at a time and these birds can have two breeds of young in a year.

What is their conservation status?

The yellow-eared parrot, (Ognorhynchus icterotis), has a conservation status of Vulnerable as per the IUCN Red List. They had a conservation status of Critically Endangered before as their population had faced a significant decline. This endangered species faces a number of threats including habitat fragmentation and loss, hunting, use as pets and display animals, and residential and commercial development. Human traditions have also caused harm to its habitat as a large number of palm fronds are cut for use in Palm Sunday processions. They are used to adorn processions on Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is a celebration observed throughout the Andes and worldwide.

Yellow-eared Parrot Fun Facts

What do yellow-eared parrots look like?

The yellow-eared parrot is a medium-sized parrot that possesses a characteristic long tail and a primarily green coloration. It has an average length of 17 in (43.1 cm) and an average weight of 10.1 oz (286.3 g).  The upperparts are green and the underparts are lime green. They have a black-colored ring of bare skin circling their eye and their bill is also black in color. Their common name is derived from the yellow-colored patch on their ear-coverts, cheeks, and forehead. Both males and females of this species look similar to each other.

The yellow-eared parrot is named after its yellow patch on its cheeks, forehead, and ear-coverts!

How cute are they?

The yellow-eared parrot is one of the cutest birds ever. It has a vibrant green and yellow plumage that differentiates it from other birds. They are unique-looking, charismatic birds.

How do they communicate?

These parrots are quite vocal and communicate with each other through unusual calls and goose-like notes that are produced by members of a flock. They are observed to be very talkative.

How big is a yellow-eared parrot?

The yellow-eared parrot has an average length of 17 in (43.1 cm). It is two to three times larger than the summer tanager!

How fast can a yellow-eared parrot fly?

Due to a lack of research in the wild about this species, its speed has not yet been evaluated. However, they nest at high altitudes and can efficiently fly from a significant height to the forest floor to feed. They are also known to migrate when it is not their breeding season.

How much does a yellow-eared parrot weigh?

This species has an average weight of 10.1 oz (286.3 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

A male is referred to as a 'cock' and a female is referred to as a 'hen'.

What would you call a baby yellow-eared parrot?

Like all other bird species, a baby yellow-eared parrot is referred to as a chick.

What do they eat?

Yellow-eared parrots depend upon wax palm trees throughout their life. They primarily consume the wax palm fruit, but will also consume other seeds, fruits, ferns, bark, and buds. They feed in open areas occasionally and then retire to the forest at the end of the day. The predators of these birds are not known. However, we do know that species of parrots, in general, are preyed upon by raptors, such as hawks and eagles.

Are they dangerous?

No, these birds are not dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

As these parrots are classified as Vulnerable, they must not be kept as pets. They are charismatic and adorable to observe but they must be left to live in the wild.

Did you know...

Interestingly, a pair of yellow-eared parrots get assistance from another mature individual when their chicks hatch. This third bird is known as a breeding helper and it shares the duties of the parents. The breeding helper will feed and care for the chicks!

Colombia is the second richest country in the world in biological diversity. There are 1850 species of birds, 358 types of mammals, and 45,000 kinds of plants in Colombia!

Do yellow-eared parrots talk?

No, these birds cannot talk like humans. However, they have been observed to be quite charismatic and vocal.

Why are they called yellow-eared parrots?

The species' name originates from the yellow-colored patch that covers its forehead, ear-coverts, and cheeks.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Pesquet's parrot surprising facts and white-fronted parrot interesting facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable yellow eared parrot coloring pages.

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