How Well Do Parrots Handle Elevations Higher Than 12,000 Feet?

How Well Do Parrots Handle Elevations Higher Than 12,000 Feet?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

The original question posted to Quora was


How well would a parrot be able to handle elevations higher than 12,000 feet?


From Wikipedia we learn:


The thick-billed parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha) is a medium-sized green and red parrot found in Mexico, that formerly ranged into the southwestern United States.


Its position in parrot phylogeny is the subject of ongoing discussion; it is sometimes referred to as a thick-billed macaw or a thick-billed conure


The thick-billed parrot lives in temperate conifer, pine, mature pine-oak, and fir forests at an elevation of 1200–3600 meters. It is largely restricted to the Sierra Madre Occidental in Chihuahua and Durango, Mexico.


I thought I’d share this list of other birds indigenous to this mountain range ~ click on the scientific name to see a picture of the bird and get additional information.



The Chimborazo volcano in Ecuador with a peak elevation of 6,263 m (20,548 ft), is home to at least 29 PSITTACIFORMES: Psittacidae (parrots)


  1. Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet
  2. Blue-fronted Parrotlet
  3. Sapphire-rumped Parrotlet
  4. Spot-winged Parrotlet
  5. Barred Parakeet
  6. Canary-winged Parakeet
  7. Gray-cheeked Parakeet
  8. Cobalt-winged Parakeet
  9. Rose-faced Parrot
  10. Orange-cheeked Parrot
  11. Red-faced Parrot
  12. Red-billed Parrot
  13. Speckle-faced Parrot
  14. Blue-headed Parrot
  15. Bronze-winged Parrot
  16. Red-lored Parrot
  17. Scaly-naped Parrot
  18. Mealy Parrot
  19. Orange-winged Parrot
  20. Dusky-billed Parrotlet
  21. Pacific Parrotlet
  22. Black-headed Parrot
  23. Maroon-tailed Parakeet
  24. Dusky-headed Parakeet
  25. Blue-and-yellow Macaw
  26. Scarlet Macaw
  27. Golden-plumed Parakeet
  28. Red-masked Parakeet
  29. White-eyed Parakeet


The Red-fronted Parrot is found at Mt Kenya in eastern Africa whos elevation range is approximately 2200 meters to 5200 meters.


The Red-fronted Parrot and Meyers parrot is found on Mt Elgon straddling Kenya and Uganda whos elevation range is approximately 4300 meters (14,000 ft).


Here’s a list of some of the highest-flying birds on Mother earth.


Note the Ruppells vulture at 37,000 feet (verified by commercial pilots).


More relevant articles:


How High Can Birds Fly?


Highest Flying Bird Found; Can Scale Himalaya


Bottom line, birds have adapted through evolution starting with proportional wing size to specialed DNA allowing them to extract more oxygen from blood flow, unlike terrestrial creatures.


Aggregated by Mitch Rezman
Approved by Catherine Tobsing

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