[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Hapalopsittaca fuertesi | [authority] Chapman, 1912 | [UK] Fuertess Parrot | [FR] Caque de Fuertes | [DE] Indigoflugel-Papagei | [ES] Lorito de Fuertes | [NL] Fuerte?s dwergamazone | [copyright picture] Birdlife
The genus Hapalopsittaca consists of four species of small (23cm) short-tailed parrots, confined to the Andes. It is one of the least known genera of parrots in the world; one is Critically Endangered (Fuertes?) and two, including the Rusty-faced, are Endangered, due to deforestation. The genus Hapalopsittaca may exploit mistletoes extensively.
Chunky, mainly green parrot. Orange-red frontal bar, yellow forecrown and face, blue rear crown and nape. Green upperparts and wings with red shoulder and carpal, some blue in secondary coverts and dark bluish primaries. Yellow-olive breast, variable red central belly-patch, rest of underparts green. Red tail with violet tip. Immature has less yellow streaking and duller face. H. amazonina velezi has more red on head, yellow streaking on sides of head and green hindneck concolourous with mantle.
Listen to the sound of Fuertess Parrot
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
recorded by Bernabe Lopez-Lanus
South America : Central Colombia. The species has a highly restricted range on the west slope of the Central Andes of Colombia near the border of Quindio, Risaralda and Tolima. Until recently it was known with certainty only from the type-series collected at Laguneta and Santa Isabel in 1911, and by observations since 1989. Recent records are from the Alto Quindio Acaime and Canon del Quindio Natural Reserves, where the largest group observed consisted of 25 birds and the total population is thought to be fewer than 100 individuals. Recent searches in apparently suitable habitat surrounding Acaime have not been successful. In July 2002 the first confirmed sighting was made in the Central Andes, close to Los Nevados National Park, when 14 birds were located in a small area of forest.
This is a poorly-known inhabitant of cloud-forest at elevations of 2,610-3,490 m, but mostly 2,900-3,150 m. It has been recorded from fairly open (possibly therefore disturbed) forest with small palms and tree ferns.
The nesting period takes place from January to May. The average clutch size is three eggs. Incubation is conducted solely by the female, although post-hatching care is biparental. In 2003 the ProAves/LPF team was elated to discover a nest containing young with the entrance 8ft (2.4m) from the ground. At an altitude of 10,500ft (3,200m), it was in a cut tree, in an area where felling had occurred. The team discovered that the incubation period is 25-27 days and that young fledge after about 53 days. They spend one week in the nest area before going off with their parents.
Birds have been observed feeding on berries, and it is likely to show a preference for mistletoe berries shown by congeners. The critical requirements of the species appear to be tall mature trees, where they feed on the berries amongst the epiphyte-laden canopy branches and find vital nesting cavities.
This species has an extremely small range and population which has until recently been declining. These factors result in its classification as Critically Endangered.
Clearance of forest in the region of the type-locality was already extensive in 1911, and very little habitat now remains. It may also have been displaced (or possibly genetically swamped) by H. amazonina since 1911. Although there are no immediate threats to remaining birds in Alto Quindio, such a small population cannot be considered secure.