Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Dusky-billed Parrotlet (Forpus modestus)


French: Toui de Sclater German: Schwarzschnabel-Sperlingspapagei Spanish: Cotorrita de Sclater

Psittacula modesta


, 1849,



Recent study indicated that this species is basal to all other members of genus#R. Precise boundaries between the two races remain unclear. Previously listed as F. sclateri, as older name modestus was mistakenly believed to be inapplicable (as a secondary homonym), but recently shown to be valid#R; subspecies name eidos, used earlier, now becomes a junior synonym of modestus. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • F. m. modestus (Cabanis, 1849) – E Colombia (Guainía) and S & E Venezuela through the Guianas (rare) to N Brazil.
  • F. m. sclateri (G. R. Gray, 1859) – SE Colombia and NE Ecuador S (including W Brazil) to E Peru and N Bolivia and E to N Brazil S of Amazon Delta.
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm; 28 g. Darker green than congeners, forehead, cheeks and chin emerald, underparts more glaucous; lower back, rump and large panel on wing dark blue; upper mandible dark... read more


    Call is a high-pitched, somewhat buzzy “zeet”, given both in flight and perched. Also more scratchy... read more


    Clearings, edge and other secondary habitats within tropical lowland rain forest and, perhaps most... read more

    Food and feeding

    Virtually no information. Recorded feeding on fruits in trees, including those of Cecropia, and also foraging on the ground.  read more


    Possibly Jul in Peru. Nest probably in hole in dead tree, etc. No other information.


    Nothing is known.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Fairly common in W Amazonia, becoming scarcer in E where once common; but increasing in numbers in Colombia. Little if at all traded.

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N., Bonan, A. & Boesman, P. (2019). Dusky-billed Parrotlet (Forpus modestus). 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 9 December 2019).