Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Cactus Parakeet (Eupsittula cactorum)


French: Conure des cactus German: Kaktussittich Spanish: Aratinga de los cactos
Other common names: Cactus Conure, Caatinga Parakeet

Psittacus cactorum


, 1820,

south-eastern Brazil


An arid-country representative of E. pertinax, possibly conspecific, but the two probably better treated as forming a species-pair. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. c. caixana (Spix, 1824) – NE Brazil from E Maranhão to W Rio Grande do Norte, W Pernambuco and NW Bahia.
  • E. c. cactorum (Kuhl, 1820) – CE Brazil S of R São Francisco (in Bahia and adjacent N Minas Gerais).
  • Descriptive notes

    25 cm. Forecrown, lores, throat, sides of neck and breast pale brown; bare orbital ring whitish; ear-coverts, nape and upperparts green; flight-feathers bluish; belly to vent... read more


    Flight calls include high-pitched screeching “scraart scraart” cries, as well as a softer, shorter... read more


    Arid thorny caatinga vegetation dominated by shrubs and succulents, open woodland (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Few specific data; flower buds reported, and recorded feeding on a variety of fruits, including those of figs and cactus, as well as ... read more


    Nest-holes in arboreal termitaria. Four nests in N Bahia were at 1·7–2·7 m above the ground, with nestlings and... read more


    No information, but some local movements in response to food availability seem likely.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Generally common, often commonest psittacid, with little trade pressure. However, caatinga is poorly protected (0... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Boesman, P. (2019). Cactus Parakeet (Eupsittula cactorum). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 11 December 2019).