aviary  Jakovljević
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Cyanoliseus Patagonus


This family consists of three subspecies:

  1. Cyanoliseus Patagonus Patagonus - Discovered by Vieillot in 1818. Described as purple-brownish olive gray parrot. Head and neck are covered with green feathers with traces of white color on the side. Chest feathers are of the same color but may be missing in some individuals. Center of the abdomen and lower parts of the belly are vivid red; lower back and upper parts of tail as well as sides of the abdomen and under tail are yellow with dashes of light olive green. Edges of wings are fluorescent blue, and the wings themselves are dominantly green with some brown and blue feathers. Outer part of the tail is olive green with blue edges and inner parts are dark gray. Beak is rather big and of black color with white ring at its beginning. Legs differ in color depending on the age of the bird. With young birds, they are grey- pink with black rings while in the older ones they turn into pink with red “socks” and no black rings. These birds are up to 45 cm in size with wingspan of 23 to 25 cm.

  2. Cyanoliseus Patagonus Andius - This subspecies was discovered by Dabbene and Lillo in 1913. and described as darker variation with dark brown neck. Upper parts of chest in most birds don't have traces of white color; sides of the abdomen, under tail and upper parts of the body are olive green and in some individuals with dashes of yellow. Parts around the abdomen are peach colored with olive green feathers. Lower back is yellowish green. This parrot is 45 cm big with wing length of 24 cm.

  3. Cyanoliseus Patagonus Byroni - Coloration is very similar to Cyanoliseus Patagonus Patagonus, with mandatory white spots on upper parts of the chest (wings), and much as half of the population has white stripes across the middle of the chest. Feathers on sides of the abdomen are yellow as well as the ones in under tail region and upper parts of chest. These regions lack olive green feathers. Central part of the belly is mix of peach, orange and red. This subspecies is the biggest, having 50-55 cm in size and 25-27 in wing length. This parrot was discovered and described by J. E. Gray in 1831.

In general, burrowing parrot inhabits regions in south Argentina , Peru and Chile , making it, without doubt, South American species. During wintertime, they migrate in Uruguay . They dwell in all kinds of open steppe ground, dry bushy regions and cactus fields, as well as rivers and are common visitors of cultivable soils planted by sunflower, corn and peanuts. They also inhabit regions up to 2000 m high. Out of mating season they live in groups that count 8 to 40 individuals, although much bigger flocks have been reported. Couples are easy to identify in flock. They are very loud when living in large groups and very active. These parrots are great climbers in thick but short bushes and are not timid so they are easy to approach.

If disturbed while flying, they ground making screaming noise. During feeding time, they always have one individual on watch who will alert others by screaming. Color of back feathers provides them with great camouflage on the ground. In the early morning, they gather near water for drinking and bathing, while feeding time is in the afternoon. They fly great distances in search for food. These birds spend the hottest hours during the day, in trees of choice and during night, in short trees and holes in sandy cliffs for sleeping.

While living in nature they feed on various seeds, grain, berry, peanut, hazelnut and vegetable. Farmers, mostly in Argentina , hunt them for destroying cornfields and peanut plantations. Unfortunately, the same situation is in Peru , although the natives are hunting them for food and for some religious reasons this bird is almost a relic in their menu. Their existence is greatly endangered having previously said in mind, so when it comes to preservation of this species from extinguishing, we have come to red alert.

You can enjoy his acrobatic skills and pranks for hours

They nest from December until January, and that is their mating season. They choose high, sandy, cliffs above rivers or lakes, which give them a good view. Burrowing parrots dig tunnels in these cliffs, which can be up to 3 m long and with 10-18 cm in diameter. At the end of the tunnel, there is a recess 15 cm long and 40 cm in diameter. Female hatch 2-4 eggs in this recess in which is the nest, previously made of branches. Eggs are 29 x 36 mm in size. Since they mate in flocks, it is not surprising that sometimes these tunnels cross, and that inevitably leads to conflict. Weaker couple is forced to dig another tunnel. This species is sexually mature in the age of three. It is interesting that period between hatching two eggs can be up to seven days in contrast to other parrot species that hatch every second day. The incubation period lasts for 25 days. Female broods intensively after she has hatched the last egg. After hatching from the egg, the young stay in the nest for 55-60 days. After leaving the nest they stay with their parents for two months and after that period they become independent.

Don't be timid by the size of this parrot,
they are among the tamest ones
Breeding of this species was reported for the first time in the London ZOO, in 1868. It was noticed that it easily adapts to low temperatures and moist. If kept single, it is easily tamed. They tend to imitate large number of words. In our country, they are also known as midnight Ara due to its size, the shape of the beak, eyes and color. This species has no mutations.

When living in captivity they feed on seedish mix made of sunflower, sorghum, oat, millet, hemp, fresh or soft maize, peanuts and soy with addition of apple, carrot and spinach. They should always be provided with fresh branches that they play with by breaking them in smaller pieces. My advice, as a successful breeder, to future owners is to feed the young with mix of cookies, eggs and poppy as addition to basic diet. This will help the bird to grow properly and to have shiny feathers. It should be noticed that differences between sexes are very hard to spot. Young birds can be distinguished from the older ones by the color of the beak. Up to 8 month old, birds have grey beak and as the bird gets older, the beak turns darker and at the end, it is black.
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