Cataña or Austral Parakeet

May 27th, 2010 Posted in day to day, fauna, lifestyle

Written by Shanie

The Cataña, Enicognathus ferrugineus — also known as the Austral Parakeet, Austral Conure or Emerald Parakeet — is one of my favorite species of Patagonian birds. I have been trying the entire time I have lived here to get a picture of these swift flying beauties, but, until now, have failed. Not that these are my best shots, I at least have their stunning colors recorded for my later pleasure when I live elsewhere.

Known to live in both the southern sectors of Chile and Argentina, these colorful feathered friends are actually parrots. They enjoy flying in large groups, numbering from the teens to 100s. They are chatterbugs as they fly about; their chirping heard from afar as they fly from tree to tree.

The Cataña enjoys living in forested areas. Aiding in its diet of budding leaves, grass, berries and seeds, they especially like the southern beech Nothofagus tree, as well as the Araucaria, as seen in these pictures. They also use the wooded areas as their home, taking refuge within the bark of trees. They are also known to frequent farm areas and sagebrush.

For me, the Cataña is a precious part to Patagonia that I so appreciate. Having two Araucania trees in our yard, they frequent the property with their positive energy and song that can be heard from so very far away. There are times when they pass by my office window at just the right time…helping me find that word that I was searching for…or telling me it is time to drop what I am doing and get outside.

And I am not one to say no to Mother Nature’s creatures.

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