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The Tui Parakeet (Brotogeris sanctithomae) is found along the entire length of the Amazon River, as well as its tributaries - specifically the Amazon range of Brazil to eastern Ecuador and northern Bolivia.
In the late '60s and early '70s, these parakeets were imported into the United States in large numbers until the importation ceased following an export ban. At the time, there was little interest in breeding these parakeets and nowadays this parakeet is almost nonexistent in the U.S. Now the delightful little Tui Parakeets are highly sought after by aviculturists.
These hardy little birds are quite long-lived for their size, some having lived up to 35 years.
Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate:
- Tui Parakeets (B.s. sanctithomae) - Nominate Species
- Range: Amazon Basin of Brazil and Amazonian north-eastern Peru and northernmost Bolivia; as well as a minor range into eastern Ecuador, and the river border of far south-eastern Colombia.
- Santarém Tui Parakeets (B.s. takatsukasae)
- Range: Northern Brazil, Eastern Amazonas.
The Tui Parakeet looks like miniature Yellow-crowned Amazon parrots (other than lacking the red wing highlights of the Amazon parrot). The plumage of the Tui Parakeet is generally bright green with a slightly darker wing, and a large patch of yellow on their forehead.
The Tui Parakeet is a small parrot, averaging 6.5 - 6.8 inches (~17 cm) in length and weighing around 2 oz (58g). They have a medium to short, somewhat wedge-shaped tail.
They have a dark reddish-brownish bill, white eye rings, and pale grey irises.
Differentiation from sub-species:
The Santarém Tui Parakeets is a little smaller than the nominate Tui Parakeet, averaging 6 inches (16 cm) in length. They look like the nominate species featured above, but they have a variably marked yellow stripe / spot behind eye, and the yellow patch to the forehead is often more extensive (please refer to image on the right).
Tui Parakeets (B.s. sanctithomae)
- Both adults in general yellow/green; yellow forehead, lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird's head) and forecrown.The bill is dark orange/brownThe eyes are yellow and the eye rings bare and pale grey.
Santarém Tui Parakeets (B.s. takatsukasae)
- Both adults look like the nominate form - the Tui Parakeet - but they have a distinctive yellow streak behind the eyes (please refer to the image to the right).
Immature / Young Birds:
As adults, but they have a darker brown bill, and the irises are dark grey.
Calls / Vocalizations:
Calls made in flight are rapid and repetitious screeching. Their calls range from shrill screeching to chattering.
Diet / Feeding:
In their natural habitat, these parakeets may feed on the following:
- Seeds (including sprouted seeds)
- Fruits (including berries)
- Flowers. Nectar, Greens & Plant Matter
- Minerals & Grit: They are often seen visiting barreiros (areas where mineral-rich soil is readily available) and river banks to feed on soil.
- Insects and their larvae
- They are also found in manioc and cane sugar fields.
Captive diet: They should be provided a varied diet consisting of:
- A good quality "cockatiel" seed mix (safflower, oats, some sunflower, hemp seeds, buckwheat, canary grass seed, rowanberries, etc.) and millet spray
- Plenty of fruit (including berries and apples) and vegetables (grated / slices carrots, corn, etc.); green foods, such as dandelions and other plant material
- Sprouted or germinated seeds are usually more easily accepted by "seed addicts" than fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Sprouted seeds are healthier as the sprouting changes and enhances the nutritional quality and value of seeds and grains. Sprouted seeds are lower in fat, as the process of sprouting utilizes the fat in the seed to start the growing process - thus reducing the fat stored in the seeds.
- Sprouted seeds will help balance your bird’s diet by adding a nutritious supply of high in vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll.
- Soaked and germinated "oil" seeds, like niger and rape seeds, are rich in protein and carbohydrates; while "starch" seeds, such as canary and millets, are rich in carbohydrates, but lower in protein.
- It is an invaluable food at all times; however, it is especially important for breeding or molting birds. Sprouted seeds also serve as a great rearing and weaning food as the softened shell is easier to break by chicks and gets them used to the texture of seeds.
- Soft foods, such as porridge, yeast and oat flakes; wheatgerm and honey
- Animal protein (dried shrimp)
- Dust the fresh food items with a green food supplement (such as wheat grass powder) and an all-inclusive vitamin and mineral supplement.
- They are not hard chewers, but should be provided fresh twigs and branches with flowers regularly
- Note: Pellets (such as Harrison's) can also be considered if you don't have the time to feed them a varied diet. Skip on the cheaper varieties available at pet stores - as they contain harmful chemicals)
- Please visit this webpage for more information about nutrition
Class: Aves -- Birds, oiseaux
Order: Psittaciformes -- Parrots, perroquets
Family: Psittacidae -- aras, cacatoès, Cockatoos, Lories, Macaws, Parrots, perroquets
Species: Scientific: Brotogeris sanctithomae sanctithomae ... English: Tui Parakeet ... Dutch: Tui Parkiet ... German: Tuisittich ... French: Perruche Tui
Santarém Tui Parakeets (Brotogeris sanctithomae takatsukasae)
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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