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Aratinga hockingi Arndt 2006

Hocking's Conure

German: Rotkappensittich

Description: general plumage green; paler to breast and abdomen, forehead, forecrown and eye area dark red; scattering of red feathers to sides of head; also to throat, nape, breast and abdomen; greater under wing-coverts as well as underside of flight and tail feathers olive-yellow; periophthalmic ring whitish; iris yellow-brownish; feet flesh-coloured; bill horn-coloured.

Female as male.
Immatures as adult, but with green forehead.

Length: 38 cm (15 ins)

Distribution: mountains east of Utcubamba Valley and Chachapoyas, Dpt. Amazonas, as well as the Carpish mountains and adjacent ridge south of the upper Huallaga river and in eastern Andean valleys in the departments of Ayacucho and Cuzco, Peru.

Habitat: higher cloud forests of the sub-tropical zone between 1,760 m and 3,000 m (4,570 and 9,900 ft), which can be found in a narrow strip along the eastern slopes of the Andes; visits dry agricultural areas.

Status: rare and only common in localities.

Habits: in pairs, small groups and flocks of up to 100 birds; conspicuous because of noise; occasionally associates with Mtred Conure (Aratinga mitrata); call raucous and deep.

Natural diet: unknown; probably fruits, seeds, berries and nuts; foraged in trees; occasionally forages in cultivated areas causing considerable damage to crops.

Breeding behaviour: nearly unknown; breeding season from November to January; nests in high, inaccessible cliffs; breeds mostly in small colonies; no further details known.

Aviculture: noisy parakeet; sometimes kept by local people; young birds soon become confiding; hard chewer; needs constant supply of fresh wood; enjoys bathing; lively and inquisitive when unobserved.

Accommodation: outside flight at least 4 x l x 2 m (12 x 3 x 6 ft) with adjacent shelter; although able to withstand low temperatures, provide roosting box in winter to protect from frost; position nestbox 25 x 25 x 60 cm (10 x 10 x 24 ins) in sheltered place.

Diet: seed mix of safflower, oats, some sunflower (also sprouted), hemp, buckwheat, canary grass seed and rowanberries; plenty of fruit, vegetables and greenfood; when available provide fresh branches with flowers and buds; vitamin and mineral supplements.

Breeding in aviculture: unknown