The Rufous-fronted Parakeetis a species of bird of the parrot family (Psittacidae) endemic to the highest mountains of the Central Cordillera of the Colombian Andes, between 2800 and 4100 meters above sea level.
It reaches a length of 18 cm. On its forehead, between the eyes and the beak, it presents a narrow rust-red band, which generally appears on the chin and sprays the olive-colored face. The back of the head, neck and wings are dark green. The underside of the wings is bluish. The bill is gray to whitish, with a yellow tip. The ring around the eyes is gray. The iris is dark brown to blackish. The legs are yellowish.
It is found in the area between the high Andean forest of the sub-paramo and the paramo, preferably between 3,200 and 4,000 m of altitude. It adapts to modified scrub, grasslands and agricultural areas. It feeds on various plants of the Andean highlands, it eats the seeds (especially Anthoxanthum odoratum), the fruits and the flowers.
Daytime, flies in flocks of 10 to 15 individuals. At sunset they go to their refuges, generally located in the crevices of high rocky natural walls, where between 20 and 150 individuals are housed, sleeping in groups of 2 to 8 in each nest, built with earth and interlaced leaves. A nest built with moss on an 18 m high tree has also been observed. Rufous-fronted Parrot has swift, direct flight. It performs strong, rapid wing beats. When disturbed, it flies short distance before landing again.
Diet / Feeding:
They mainly feed on grass-seeds, such as Sweet vernalgrass (Anthoxanthum odoratum), fruits of Acaenia elongate and flowers. Frequenty, they are seen foraging in potatoes fields.
Breeding / Nesting
The breeding season appears to commence in January. They frequently nest in rock-cavities in cliff faces.
They are threatened by habitat loss caused by deforestation for agriculture and the large destruction of páramo (desert areas) vegetation, caused by frequent burning, intense grazing and potatoes cultivation. Their population is small and continues to decline. This species is classified as Endangered by IUCN Red List of threatened species.
Song / Call
Their call is moderately loud, consisting of high-pitched chattering contact notes: ‘dy-dy-dy-gy…dy-dy-dy-gy’, or a series of ‘gurk’ notes.