Brown-throated Parakeet

Brown-throated Parakeet (Aratinga pertinax xanthogenia), credits: SHAPE/DCNA (c) 2012Has a flash of bright yellow-green caught your attention on any of the ABC islands? Did you know that 11 subspecies of Brown-throated Parakeets have been recognized for this part of the Caribbean (including ranges in northern South America)?

As a common species in the tropics, this species of parakeet, Aratinga pertinax, can be seen quite regularly and you cannot mistake its high-pitched shriek. Though most of its plumage is green with shades of yellow-green, the bird can camouflage nicely with vegetation. They are almost always on the alert and even though they try hard to be really quiet, their call makes them very conspicuous. If you are lucky, you can get close enough for a nice photo (make sure your camera is on) if they are not threatened by your presence. However, they will take flight if you get too close.

For bird-lovers paying attention to small details, they would know that Bonaire subspecies  (A. p. xanthogenia) has a richer yellow on the face that distinguishes it from the washed out yellow of the Aruba subspecies (A. p. arubensis). Both of these subspecies are island endemics.

When comparing the A. p. xanthogenia to the Curaçao cousin, A. p. pertinax, the Bonarian subspecies has a bluish-green strip from the rear crown to the nape that the does not appear on the Curaçao subspecies.

The Brown-throated Parakeets, also known as Prikichican be observed at eye-level foraging on acacia shrubs and for once can clumsily be seen on the ground, immediately fleeing the seen if caught in action. Happy birding to all.

Prikichi - Aruban subspecies, Brown-throated parakeet (Aratinga pertinax arubensis), credits: Diego Marquez