Hawkheaded Parrot

Latin Name



The hawkheaded parrot is an extremely unique and unusual parrot. It is the only member of the Genus Deroptyus. There are two subspecies, The Brazilian Deroptyus accipitrinus fuscifrons, from the lower Amazon basin and the Guiana hawkhead, Deroptyus accipitrinus from tropical northern South America. They differ in the coloration of the feathers on the forehead and crown. The nominate race has white or light buff colored feathers, while the subspecies has dusky brown feathers. The hawkhead is very aerodynamic and a consumate flyer. The most striking feature about this bird is its coloration and movable ruff. The bird is the only New World parrot that has a raisable ruff. Its ruff, like a cockatoo's crest can be raised or lowered at will, but the hawkhead's ruff is like an indian headress or a lion's mane and is very surprising the first time it is seen. The feathers on the ruff and on the chest are bright red with the edges scalloped in an electric blue. The beak is black and the eyes are orange. The color contrast is striking and the birds are beautiful. They are not easy to breed and not too common in the United States.


14 inches


Indeterminable by appearance


South America


Wild caught birds are very high-strung, but domestic hand-feds make excellent pets. They are gregarious, outgoing and playful, similar to a conure. They learn to speak easily, usually saying hello by the time that they are two months old. They are like an amazon, but without the bite and unpredictability of an amazon temperament. They are excellent pets and a joy to observe and live with.


They can be a loud bird with a raucous call. Their call is similar to that of a seagull.


They are expensive birds ranging from about $1800 to $2400. Females are rarer and usually cost more.