Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)


French: Perruche veuve German: Mönchsittich Spanish: Cotorra argentina

Psittacus monachus


, 1783,

Montevideo, Uruguay


Closely related to M. luchsi, with which commonly considered conspecific (but see that species). Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. m. cotorra (Vieillot, 1818) – SE Bolivia, Paraguay, SW Brazil and NW Argentina (Formosa, Chaco, Corrientes).
  • M. m. monachus (Boddaert, 1783) – SE Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul), Uruguay and NE Argentina (Santa Fe to E Buenos Aires).
  • M. m. calita (Jardine & Selby, 1830) – NW & C Argentina (Salta to W Buenos Aires and N Chubut).
  • Introduced to many areas, especially in North America and Europe.

    Descriptive notes

    28–29 cm; 90–140 g. Forehead, lores, lower cheek and chin light grey; rest of head green, browner green on mantle and duller on wings, primaries and secondaries... read more


    Commonest call is a drawn-out nasal grating note, typically repeated in long series, e.g. “rrreh-... read more


    Dry semi-open lowlands, generally to 1000 m, in gallery forest, savanna woodland, dry Acacia... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds of grasses, herbs and various trees, especially Celtis tala and palm nuts, with thistles very important in breeding season;... read more


    Oct–Feb. Communal nester. Builds conspicuous enclosed nests of sticks cut with bill, commonly from spiny Celtis bushes;... read more


    Apparently sedentary except at the edges of its range, where presence may be seasonal.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common to abundant throughout its range, and has increased with the spread of settlements (now encroaching into the ... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Boesman, P. (2019). Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus). 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 15 December 2019).