This plump green parrot has rich cherry/auburn plumage on its head that fades to tan around its neck, a red shoulder patch, blue wing feathers, and a red tail with a violet tip. It is found in small flocks in moist montane forests, where it feeds mainly in the canopy on fruit, blossoms, and seeds.
The Rusty-faced Parrot is most threatened by habitat destruction and fragmentation. Extensive logging and clearing for agriculture, development, and mining have destroyed much of its historical habitat in the Andes.
ABC has worked extensively with Colombian partner Fundación ProAves to protect the parrot’s habitat in the Threatened Parrot Corridor and Dusky Starfrontlet Reserve. The Rusty-faced Parrot can be observed at the Dusky Starfrontlet Reserve at one of two rocky outcroppings, known as clay licks, where the birds consume clay and dirt for essential nutrients. Nest boxes were also installed at the Dusky Starfrontlet Reserve this year, thanks to support from Loro Parque Fundación, and have already produced a first fledgling.