Black-capped parakeet

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Black-capped parakeet
Pyrrhura rupicola -captive-6a.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Genus: Pyrrhura
P. rupicola
Binomial name
Pyrrhura rupicola
(Tschudi, 1844)

The black-capped parakeet (Pyrrhura rupicola), also known as the black-capped conure or rock conure in aviculture, is a parrot native to the south-western Amazon Basin and adjacent east Andean slopes in Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. It has a total length of approximately 25 cm, is mostly green with a dark brown-black cap, whitish scaly neck and breast, red wing coverts (upper, not lower - along leading edge) and a black beak. The breast feathers are dark with light tips, rather than the opposite.

It lives in humid forests, ranging from the Amazonian lowlands up to an altitude of 2000 m on the east Andean slopes. Its habitat is being disturbed, parts of its range are within protected areas (e.g., in Manú National Park), and it is designated as Near Threatened. Flock size is 20 to 30 birds but smaller in breeding season.


A green-cheeked/black-capped parakeet hybrid. Note the scaly neck and breast feathers with blunter edges than those of a black-capped parakeet; they are also more defined than those of a green-cheeked parakeet. As well, tail feathers graduate from the green of a black-capped parakeet's into a muted version of the bright maroon of a green-cheeked parakeet. The bird additionally possesses a muted version of the latter's buff ear-patch.

There may be two subspecies. If so, they would be:

  • P. r. rupicola: Central Peru.
  • P. r. sandiae: South-eastern Peru, northern Bolivia and south-western Brazil. Narrower pale edges on breast and neck feathers, absent on hind neck. Often called the Sandia conure in aviculture.

In the past, some speculated that it might be conspecific with the green-cheeked parakeet. This was based on an apparent black-capped–green-cheeked hybrid found in Puno, Peru; however, the identification of this individual (or at least its provenance) must be considered questionable, as beyond the range of the green-cheeked parakeet, which has never been recorded in Peru. Black-capped and green-cheeked parakeet hybrids, however, have been hatched in captivity.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Pyrrhura rupicola". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.