- Sulphur-winged Parakeet
 - Sulphur-winged Parakeet
 - Sulphur-winged Parakeet
 - Sulphur-winged Parakeet

Sulphur-winged Parakeet Pyrrhura hoffmanni Scientific name definitions

Nigel Collar and Peter F. D. Boesman
Version: 1.0 — Published March 4, 2020
Text last updated February 28, 2014

Sign in to see your badges


The Sulphur-winged Parakeet is the northernmost species in the large genus of Pyrrhura parakeets. This species occurs in the highlands of southern Costa Rica and western Panama, with an elevational range of approximately 1200-3000 m. The Sulphur-winged Parakeet is primarily green, with red auriculars, blue primaries, and a maroon under surface to the rectrices. There is a limited amount of yellow on the upper surface of the wing, but the Sulphur-winged Parakeet takes its name from the yellow underwing primary coverts and bright yellow bases to the under surfaces of the remiges. Sulphur-winged Parakeets occupy humid montane forest and forest edges, and are relatively tolerant of habitat disturbance; despite its small geographic range, this species is fairly common, and is not considered to be threatened.

Field Identification

23–24 cm; mean 82 g. Generally green; head, nape and throat variably marked with yellow, breast with dull orange; bare orbital ring white; ear-coverts bright terracotta; primary coverts and basal two-thirds of inner primaries and outer secondaries yellow; primaries with blue; tail rufous olive above fringed green, reddish brown below. Immature has duller scaling, less orange, and much less yellow on wing. Race gaudens has head with variable orange red markings, underparts slightly darker.

Systematics History

Editor's Note: This article requires further editing work to merge existing content into the appropriate Subspecies sections. Please bear with us while this update takes place.

Two subspecies recognized.



Pyrrhura hoffmanni hoffmanni Scientific name definitions


mountains of S Costa Rica (Dota Region and Cordillera de Talamanca).


Pyrrhura hoffmanni gaudens Scientific name definitions


mountains of W Panama (E to Veraguas).


Editor's Note: Additional distribution information for this taxon can be found in the 'Subspecies' article above. In the future we will develop a range-wide distribution article.


Broken mountainous country in primary and logged forest and edge, adjacent shrubbery and second growth, with an apparent preference for partly cleared pasture; 700–3000 m.


In dry season regularly present up to 3000 m, descending in wet season to 1300 or even 700 m at least on daily visits; once near sea-level.

Diet and Foraging

Seeds, fruits of Ficus, Croton, Myrtis, Miconia and Leandra subseriata, sometimes making daily elevational movements from upper roosting areas.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Most common call  is a series of high-pitched shrill notes, e.g. “krree krree krree”, both in flight and perched. In flight, individuals of a group call frequently and simultaneously, producing a noisy, harsh and piercing chattering. However, perched birds can be silent for prolonged periods.


Probably mainly Jan–Jun. Nest in old woodpecker hole or hollow broken stub, 8–20 m up. In captivity: 6 eggs; incubation 24 days; nestling period 10 weeks.
Not globally threatened. CITES II. A BirdLife “restricted-range” species. Fairly common to common within its small range, and tolerant of substantial habitat modification. Very little trade.
Distribution of the Sulphur-winged Parakeet - Range Map
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Sulphur-winged Parakeet

Recommended Citation

Collar, N. and P. F. D. Boesman (2020). Sulphur-winged Parakeet (Pyrrhura hoffmanni), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.suwpar1.01