The dusky-billed parrotlet is a small species of parrot that is also know as Sclater's parrot. It is among the smaller species of parrot in the world. The average member of this species is around 12.5 centimeters in height (around 4.8 inches) and weighs between 30 and 35 grams (or around 1 to 1.2 ounces). These parrots have a vivid plumage with a heavy focus on bright green shades, with darker feathers on the wings while the feathers of the head and chest are almost yellow with a tinge of green. Streaks of blue can be found on the edge of the bird's wings, making them a colorful sight. Though similar to other parrotlets in many ways, this particular species has a fairly dark upper mandible, which is a fairly distinctive species trait for the average parrotlet in the environment these birds live in. A member of the Psittacidae bird family, it is most widely known under the bionomial name of forpus modestus, though it does have other synonyms.
A fairly common parrot all told, it occupies a place of Least Concern on the IUCN's Red List, meaning that it is fairly common despite the past two hundred years of deforestation and other human activities that have spread across its habitant. It lives in the Northern reaches of the Amazon Rainforest where it is a fairly common sight, though it stretches as far east as the Amazonian foothills and even up towards the Andes Mountains, though there is some evidence that human activities are leading to the species' decline on the far fringes of its natural range. It is also found at the Amazon River outlet, as well as Marajo Island, the second largest island in South America where it is quite abundant. It is also found in locations such as Southeast Columbia, Eastern Peru and Northern Bolivia.
In the wild, the species subsists on a varied diet of the berries, buds, seeds and blossoms that fill its Amazonian habitat. Mostly living in the clearings of lowland tropical rainforests, as well as the edges of these forests and riparian growth, it has also been found living in less heavily forested areas such as the savannas that mark the border between the Amazon Rainforest and the Andes Mountains. The dusky-billed parrotlet is found in massive flocks of individual birds, starting at around 100 birds and oftentimes growing to even larger numbers. The exception is during the species' breeding season which takes place around the month of July when these birds mate.
These birds are very rarely kept as pets and little is known of their ability to survive human aviculture. In the United States it is virtually unknown as a pet, though it is seen somewhat more often as a pet in Europe. Their needs as a pet call for considerable efforts on the part of owners, among them overhead misters or shallow bowls of water so the birds can bathe themselves. If one truly wishes to keep one of these birds as a pet, they would do well to do further research into their needs before even considering bringing one into their homes.
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