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White-winged Parakeet

Brotogeris versicolurus

Length: 8-10 inches Wingspan: 13-14.5 inches Seasonality: Non-resident in South Dakota
ID Keys: Green overall, white wing patch obvious in flight, yellow leading edge on folded wing

White-winged Parakeet - Brotogeris versicolurusThe White-winged Parakeet is a medium-sized parakeet native to portions of South America. The trademark white wing is a characteristic that's typically only seen in flight, when a large white wing patch is easily seen.  At rest, the wing shows a band of yellow, and as such, the species is also sometimes called the "Canary-winged Parakeet".  They have been a popular caged bird, and escapees have managed to established permanent breeding populations in several locations in the United States. Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami are the three locations where they are often seen.  They were once more common in these cities, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, but populations have declined in the last few decades.

Habitat: For introduced birds in the United States, they are primarily found in suburban and urban settings, in areas with extensive landscape and tropical vegetation. In their native range, they are mostly found in second-growth or otherwise disturbed forest, or around forest edges and clearings.

Diet: Feeds on a variety of food items, including fruits and berries, seeds, nuts, flower blossoms and nectar, and fresh shoots and buds.

Behavior: Foraging is primarily done in the forest canopy, although if food sources are closer to the ground, they will feed there. They are gregarious birds outside of the breeding season, forming large communal flocks.

Nesting: The nest is a cavity of a tree, with no additional augmentation or lining.  The female lays 3 to 5 eggs, and she alone incubates them. The male typically will bring food to the nest cavity during the incubation period. The eggs hatch after about 25 days, and both parents help to feed and protect them.  The young fledge from the next after about six weeks after hatching.

Song: Like many parrots and parakeets, they have a very wide range of vocalizations.  They will often give a raucous shrieking call, as well as

Migration: Considered non-migratory throughout its normal range.

Feeders: For populations established in the U.S., they will sometimes attend feeders for offered fruit, nuts, and seeds.

Interactive eBird map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of White-winged Parakeet sightings

Similar Species: In Florida, introduced Yellow-chevroned Parakeets are sometimes seen, and are similar in appearance to White-winged Parakeets. Those two species were once considered one species before they were split.

Conservation Status: White-winged Parakeets are considered common in parts of their range in South America.  Their overall population may be decreasing, but they are still considered a species of "Least Concern" by the IUCN.

Further Information: 1) WhatBird - White-winged Parakeet

2) - Canary-winged Parakeet

3) Cornell's NeoTropical Birds - White-winged Parakeet

Photo Information: Photo by Patty McGann - Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License -


Click below for a higher-resolution map
White-winged Parakeet - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Non-resident in South Dakota

Additional Zone-tailed Hawk Photos (coming soon!!)