Our First Brotogeris


' 'I think we should go back and
get him" is the way it started
four years ago. My wife Chris and I
had just left a little Grey-cheeked Parakeet
on the perch at a Florida coastal
pet store one Sunday and were driving
back home. He was a friendly little
dude, chatted with everyone, got on
your finger, paid attention to you,
wanted a good home!
"I think we should go back and get
him." I turned into a parking lot along
the road and we talked about where
we would put him. After all, we did
have an African Grey and a macaw at
the time. "We'll get a little cage and
keep him in the kitchen for a while
and see how he does." A good
answer. I went back the way we had
come and, just as the place was closing,
we bought "Cheeks" and a cage
and headed for home.
Four years later, our Grey-cheeked
Parakeets have bred for three years.
We are working on second generation
breeding and have all of the Brotogeris
species except the Tui, Plain, or
Yellow-winged (Canary).
Chris' Tiny Wings (CfW) Aviary
CTW Aviary is set up in two areas:
inside and outside. The indoor cages
were custom made and each is 18" x
18" x 24". Each contains a toy, a Manzanita
branch (for chewing), a water
bowl, a fresh food bowl and a dry
food bowl. Each cage has a pair of
Brotogeris and a lovebird size nestbox.
We house three pairs of Greycheeked
and one pair of Orangechinned
There are several different sizes of
cages set up in banks outdoors. Some
of the cages are 24" x 24" x 36" and
are arranged side by side. These cages
are identical in every respect and are
separated for three-fourths of their
length with a privacy panel. We used
1" x 2" oak for perches and the nestboxes
are 10" x 10" x 8". We have a
small, two-compartment dog dish we
use for feeding: fresh on one side, dry 

on the other. In the front of each cage
is the water bowl and each cage has a
timed sprinkler.
Another section has cages that
measure 24" x 36" x 36", side by side
and are identical to the smaller cages
(except for size), right down to the
There is also a community cage
which is 36" x 36" x 48". This cage has
two feeding positions and a larger
water bowl. It also has two nestboxes
with room for two more. For this cage,
the sprinkler has a larger spray area.
CTW Aviary is located in central
Florida. For that reason, we can be a
little more experimental with breeding
indoors and outdoors. CTW Aviary
presently has a good selection of Brotogeris
and can evaluate different
influences and how the breeding
cycles relate.
Population at CTW Aviary
We have been able to add to our
collection this year a single Greycheeked
(paired with one of this
year's babies will give us five pairs),
two White-winged (which gives us
two pairs and two males) and a single
Orange-chinned (which gives us three
pairs). We also have a pair of Cobaltwinged
and two pairs of Goldenwinged
Parakeets. The total Brotogeris
population is as follows: Greycheeked
Brotogeris pyrrhopterus, five
pairs; Orange-chinned Brotogeris
jugularis, three pairs; White-winged
Brotogeris versicolorus, two pairs plus
two males; Cobalt-winged Brotogeris
cyanoptera, one pair; Golden-winged
Brotogeris chrysopterus, two pairs.
We have been successful for three
years in breeding Brotogeris. This year
we received our first clutch of Orangechinned
eggs (all infertile). Next year,
we expect our second generation of
Grey-cheeked. Last year, one of our
Grey-cheeked pairs gave us a double
clutch. The hen laid and hatched five
in January-February and laid five eggs
and hatched two babies (the rest were
infertile) in June-July.
General Characteristics
Cobalt-winged Parakeets are Chris'
favorites. They give the initial appearance
of tiny Amazons. They have a
very small but vivid orange spot under
the lower mandible. There is a yellow
wash on the front, fading to light
green on the crown. The wings are
magnificent. The Cobalt-winged are

stocky birds compared to most of the
other Brotogeriswe have.
Golden-winged Parakeets are my
favorites. They are a dark olive green
with a black wash to the facial
feathers; the periophthalmic ring
really stands out. The most impressive
feature of the Golden-winged is the
small, triangular patch of pure golden
feathers at the bend of the wing. Only
when the wings are extended is the
golden patch visible against a dark
green background.
White-winged Parakeets are a little
bit darker than the subspecies B.v.
chiriri (Canary-winged). This subspecies
has some white primary
feathers that are almost invisible until
the wing is opened. Some of the
secondary feathers show a very subtle
yellow wash on white. These birds
tend to be a little more territorial and a
couple of the males become very
vocal when we change the water and
food bowls.
Grey-cheeked are friendly and just
talk up a storm! When there are 10 to
15 together at any one time, they can
be very loud. A solitary bird can
become just as spoiled and just as
demanding as any other larger
bird, i.e. macaw or cockatoo, although
will remain much more quiet. The
most interesting feature of the Greycheeked
is the orange patch under the
wing next to the body. This orange
patch tends to peek out at the bend of
the wing on mature birds.
Orange-chinned Parakeets are a
middle green between the Goldenwinged
and the Grey-cheeked. Being
somewhat plain in coloring, they do
have the same type of patch under the
wing as the Grey-cheeked except the
patch is a light yellow, not orange.
These differ from the rest of the Brotogeris
having ·a medium bronze patch
on the outside of the folded wing. The
orange (in Orange-chinned) is visible
as a small spot under the lower mandible.
Orange-chinned seem to be
"bossy" birds.