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ECUADOR December 2006

The recently-discovered (1970's) El Oro Parakeet Pyrrhura orcesi, photographed along the road above the Fundación Jocotoco's Buenaventura Reserve in El Oro province, Ecuador; the Foundation is trying to acquire this property to protect this tract of prime nesting trees.

The only widely available description and illustration for this species is in the recent Ecuador field guide. The description states that the "tail is dark maroon, with the feathers basally green" and it is illustrated thus; the impression the field (and photos) is that the tail is mostly green above (at least from a side view, which will be most birder's view of it). Also the illustration shows no scaling on the sides/rear of the neck, whereas the actual birds do show some clearly noticable pale scaling in this area - possibly this is variable? Note also that some birds (presumably juvs?) can almost completely lack the red forehead - we studied one such individual: