Family Parrots (Psittacidae)


Thick-billed Parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha)


French: Conure à gros bec German: Kiefernsittich Spanish: Cotorra serrana occidental

Macrocercus pachyrhynchus


, 1827,

tableland of Mexico


Very close to R. terrisi and sometimes treated as conspecific (see below). Monotypic.


W Mexico in Sierra Madre Occidental, occurring locally in W Chihuahua, E Sonora and W & S Durango; in winter extends through Sierra Madre Occidental S to Michoacán; formerly wandering into extreme S USA (Arizona and New Mexico), where perhaps was present for years at a time. Reintroduction project (1988–1993) in S Arizona failed.

Descriptive notes

38–43 cm. Green throughout but with red forehead extending as broad line over and behind eye, bare orbital ring dull yellow, red shoulders and lower thighs, and greater... read more


Various screeches and squawks, with a distinct nasal yelping quality. Also an almost laughing '... read more


Temperate conifer forests including mature pine- oak, pine and fir forests, usually at 2000–... read more

Food and feeding

Principally seeds of various pines, most frequently Pinus arizonica and P. ayacahuite, but also P. teocote;... read more


Timed to coincide with peak pine-seed production, so slightly variable between years: eggs recorded May–Aug, and a newly fledged bird... read more


Nomadic in response to pine crop success, thus behaving irruptively in the manner of crossbills (... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. CITES I. A BirdLife “restricted-range” species, confined to high-elevation pine forests of the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico. Range extended... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N., Boesman, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2018). Thick-billed Parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha). 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 23 March 2018).