Dusky-billed parrotlet

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Dusky-billed parrotlet
Forpus sclateri - Dusky-billed Parrotlet 01.JPG
At Alta Floresta, Mato Grosso State, Brazil
Scientific classification
F. modestus
Binomial name
Forpus modestus
(Cabanis, 1849)
  • Psittacula sclateri
  • Forpus sclateri

The dusky-billed parrotlet (Forpus modestus), also known as the Sclater's parrotlet, is a small species of parrot in the family Psittacidae. It is the nominate species (F. m. modestus).

There is one subspecies: Forpus modestus sclateri.


Name Description Range
dusky-billed parrotlet or Sclater's parrotlet

(Forpus modestus modestus)

Typically around 12.5 centimetres (4.9 in) long and weigh 30–35 grams (1.1–1.2 oz). Body is mostly dark green to yellow-green; eyes are dark brown and feet are dark gray. Upper mandible is dark gray while lower is light peach. Dusky-billed parrotlets are sexually dimorphic: males have blue-purple feathers on their lower back, rump, primary and secondary coverts, primary and secondary feathers, and underwing coverts. Females have no blue markings and a brighter yellow-green forehead, forecrown, and cheeks. Like all parrots, dusky-billed parrotlets exhibit zygodactyly: two toes face forward and two toes face backward.[2] from Belém, Pará, northern Brazil, west to southeastern Colombia, south to eastern Peru, western Brazil, and northern Bolivia[2]
F. p. sclateri Compared to the nominate species, males are paler green and have paler blue parkings. Females are also paler, particularly on the breast.[2] French Guiana, western Guyana, eastern and southern Venezuela, and northern Brazil to eastern Colombia[2]

Distribution and Habitat[edit]

The dusky-billed parrotlet is found in the Amazon Rainforest in South America, where it is locally fairly common; it also occurs in the Andes and the Amazonian foothills, the Amazon River outlet, and Marajo Island.

Dusky-billed parrotlets prefer lowland tropical rainforest edges and clearings, riparian zones, secondary habitats, and savanna. They seem to favor seasonally-flooding forests.[3] They are not found at altitudes higher than 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above sea level.[2]

Dusky-billed parrotlets feeding in a group


According to the IUCN Red List, dusky-billed parrotlets are a species of Least Concern.[1] Their population size is unknown, but is believed to be stable. Unlike many members of the genus Forpus, they are not captured for the parrot trade, and they are relatively unaffected by deforestation. There are many protected areas throughout their range.



Dusky-billed parrotlets are usually found in flocks of up to 100 birds year-round. They are very social, and conspicuous in their habitat. Calls are high-pitched notes or soft wheezing sounds, made while in flight or perched.[2]


Forpus modestus Keulemans, 1891

Dusky-billed parrotlets typically breed during July. Clutch size is unknown, but eggs are small, white, and roughly spherical. They nest in tree cavities or similar structures.[2]


Dusky-billed parrotlets' diet mainly consists of seeds, berries, buds, and blossoms.[2] Grass is occasionally eaten as well.


The dusky-billed parrotlet is not commonly available in aviculture. It is not available in the U.S. and is very uncommon in Europe.


  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Forpus modestus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Dusky-billed Parrotlet (Forpus modestus) | Parrot Encyclopedia". www.parrots.org. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  3. ^ "Dusky-billed Parrotlet - Introduction | Neotropical Birds Online". neotropical.birds.cornell.edu. Retrieved 2019-03-18.

External links[edit]