Fundación ProAves – por la conservación en el país de las aves

Major sighting in the ProAves Pauxi Reserve Pauxi of the Blue-faced Parakeet (Touit dilectissimus)

4 August, 2023


The Blue-fronted Parrotlet, quite striking for its color (Touit dilectissimus) is a spectacular small parrot with a short tail. On July 27th, ProAves Forest Ranger Diego Rojas discovered three of these parrots in the ProAves Pauxi Pauxi Reserve, in the department of Santander. This is just the third sighting of the species on the Magdalena Valley of the eastern Andes and the very first since 2016.

This species is characterized by living in the rain forest, on the edges of the hill forest, and in the cloud forest between 800 mt and 1,600 mt high, although it is sometimes seen from 100 m asl. It is particularly difficult to see among the trees in which it usually lives,  but it can be seen when it flights over the treetops.

It was an unexpected sighting; I was at home about to leave, and in front there is usually a lot of bird movement. About three parakeets arrived there, and when I saw them, I immediately knew that I had not seen them before. I caught up with them to take some average photos, and they immediately left. It was a sighting of less than 30-40 seconds.” , said Diego Rojas, Ranger of the ProAves Pauxi Pauxi Reserve.

The bird, from the psittacines genus, is found in countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela; according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Blue-fronted Parrotlet (Touit dilectissimus) is in the threat category: Least Concern (LC) and is rarely seen perched. It is often detected by its vocalization:

Vocalization of the Blue-fronted Parrotlet (Touit dilectissimus), (Paul Coopmans, xeno-canto)

This parrot reaches up to 17 cm in length. The male has blue coloration on his forehead, with a red band extending to cover the shoulders and the underwing’s front edge. On the contrary, the female has more red coloration under the eyes and less blue on the forehead. She also has little red hue on the wings, the underwing coverts are yellow, and it has yellowish tail edges.

Capture of Blue-fronted Parrotlet, male and female, from left to right. Photo: Nick Athanas, eBird – ProAves Reserve Arrierito Antioqueño.

These new sights in our natural reserves mean an essential step towards our country’s conservation and research of birdlife. Each natural reserve allows us to direct our efforts to the care of different endangered species, as well as to counteract their disappearance. In this sense, to sight the Blue-fronted Parrotlet (Touit dilectissimus) in the department of Santander encourages us to continue on the path of conservation.

Visit our natural reserves! Let yourself be surprised by the wonderful species that inhabit the country with the greatest diversity of birds in the world.