Catey | Exotic Birds

Cuba has a very varied fauna, and having the fortune of meeting some native specimens is wonderful. For example, there is the catey, a very famous species of parrot in the area.

Parrot or parakeet?

Although experts classify the catey, or psittacara euops , as a member of the parrot family (Psittacidae), the fact that some people on the island refer to it as a parakeet sometimes leads to confusion. However, the SEO proposes that the standard name of the species should be the Cuban Parakeet. The reason why the inhabitants refer to this species as “parakeet” is because members of the Amazon family and other similar Antillean species were referred to as parakeets and from there the names were changed.


The species lives in the Zapata Peninsula, its access being very restricted, in the mountains of Guamuhaya. They can also be seen in some areas in the provinces of Sancti Spíritus, Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey, and in the mountains of the eastern part of the country.

A very beautiful look

Although sexual dimorphism cannot be detected with the naked eye, the best way to differentiate the sex of the specimens is through their size. The male usually measures more than 28 cm, while the female rarely exceeds 27.5 cm.

The predominant color in this species is an intense green, with a red area under the fold of the wing, with the presence of some scattered red feathers, but without following a fixed pattern in the area of ​​the head, neck, and chest.


The iris is yellow, with a whitish eye-ring. The beak mixes white with red, while its legs are grayish-brown. The youngest specimens have more muted colors, not counting the presence of red feathers on their body.

Can they be kept as pets?

The truth is that the catey’s situation is somewhat delicate on the island. Many people capture them illegally to keep as pets, which is prohibited. If someone wants to have this species as a pet, in that case, they should buy a specimen that has been bred in captivity since childhood.

When they live in the wild they gather in small flocks and roost together. They make high-pitched, repeated screams that can be heard a long-distance away. They generally make more noise when they are flying. When it comes to feeding, they do so on the seeds and fruits of trees, being very rare to see it eating an insect.


When it comes to reproducing, it does so between May and August, taking advantage of the holes in the trees that have nests of woodpeckers. The female will lay 2 to 5 eggs and incubation for 27-30 days, until all the chicks hatch. After this, the parents will take turns protecting and feeding them until they reach a month and a half of life and leave the nest.

The species is listed as “vulnerable” according to CITES. Due to deforestation and poaching of the species, in recent years it has been greatly diminished. However, the impediments to acquiring a bird of this species are not as strict as with other more exotic species of birds.

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