Parrot Profile: Sierra Parakeet

Sierra Parakeets, also known as Aymara Parakeets or Grey-Hooded Parakeets, are small birds that are about 20cm in length and weigh 32-45 grams. They can live for an average of 18 years and are not very common in aviculture.


Sierra Parakeets are very playful birds that love to shred toys like paper and cardboard. These birds also love toys that make noise like bells and chains. Sierra's make quiet "peeping" noises and chatter to themselves throughout the day. Sierra Parakeets do have a tendency to get territorial over their cage so it is advised that the owner stick trains to avoid getting bit when taking them out of the cage. One of the unique traits of the Sierra Parakeet is that they play dead when placed on their back!


Sierra Parakeets may be small, but they make up for their size with their big personality. When picking out a cage for your bird, 18” x 18” x 24” is the minimum you want. ½” bar spacing is acceptable. Remember that the cage needs to accommodate their long tail! The King's Cages ES 2521 is a great option and gives your bird plenty of room!


Sierra’s are very active birds which means they need a diet that accommodates their energy exertion. A seed mix for Lovebirds or Cockatiels is ideal. As well as seed, your Sierra should have an assortment of fruits and vegetables to supplement the vitamins and minerals that the seeds do not have. Another way to supplement the vitamins and minerals in your Sierra’s diet is with a pellet. We recommend Zupreem FruitBlend or Tropican Alternative.

Enrichment is extremely beneficial for your birds overall well being because it allows your feathered friend to enhance their natural instincts. Because of their native habitat, Sierra’s enjoy chewing on many branches. Fir, Elder, Pine and Willow branches are all acceptable for your bird to chew on. Unsprayed Flowering is another option for enrichment. We also carry an assortment of enrichment toys if branches and flowering are not accessible!


Sierra Parakeets are endemic to Northwestern Argentina and Bolivia in subtropical or tropical high altitude shrublands. Their diet in the wild consists of seeding grass, herbs and various berries.


Sierra Parakeets breed in November and produce 6-10 eggs per clutch. The ideal nest box is vertical 7” x 7” x 12”. Incubation is roughly 28-30 days and babies fledge at 6-7 weeks old. 

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