Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Burrowing Parrot

Staging site


© Shutterstock

© Graham Harris

Class: Aves



Scientific Name:Cyanoliseus patagonus

IUCN Red List status:Least Concern

Protected by the following WLT projects:


Species Range (IUCN)


The Burrowing Parrot is also known as the Burrowing Parakeet. The majority of its feathers are golden-green but it has a distinctive yellow front and underparts displaying a bright orange patch of feathers at the top of its legs. It forms the largest breeding colonies of all parrot species.

Burrowing Parrot chick
A Burrowing Parrot chick. Photo © Juan Masello.


Generally the Burrowing Parrot inhabits open grassland and uses sandstone or limestone cliffs to create burrows for nesting.

Threats and Conservation

Formerly common and widespread in Argentina, now these birds are only abundant in patches, and in some areas are extinct.

Part of the problem is that the Burrowing parrot is very easily disturbed and habitat specific. They will only tunnel into vertical limestone or sandstone cliffs to make their nests, and have specific height requirements.

This parrot species is still relatively widespread and often locally abundant, so abundant that it is often considered an agricultural pest and persecuted as a result.

Loss of their grassland habitats to arable crop production are causing significant declines as is trapping for the live bird trade.

Another increasing threat is the development of unsympathetic tourism. In cases where four-wheeled vehicles are allowed on beaches this can result in the death of chicks. A breeding colony of Burrowing Parrots in the cliffs at the Rio Negro in Patagonia is seriously threatened by the expanding holiday resort of El Cóndor.

Learn more

See IUCN Red List of Threatened Species for more information on the classification of the Burrowing Parrot. Visit the Burrowing Parrot page on ARKive
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