The Nanday Parakeet (Nandayus nenday) also known as the Black-hooded Parakeet or Nanday Conure is a medium small mostly green neotropical parrot. The bird is native to South America from southeast Bolivia to southwest Brazil, central Paraguay and northern Argentina, from the region known as the pantanal. Caged birds have been released in some areas and the birds have established self-sustaining populations in Los Angeles, California, and several areas of Florida (including St. Petersburg, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County).
The Nanday Parakeet is 32–37 cm in length, weighs 140g, and is mostly green in color. Its most distinguishing characteristic, for which it is named, is its black facial mask and beak. It also shows black trailing flight feathers on its wings and has a long tail edged at the end in blue. The upper chest is bluish-green and the lower chest is a paler green. Feathers covering the thighs are red.
The Nanday Parakeet (Nandayus nenday, Vieillot 1823) is a member of the monotypic genus nenday (Bonaparte 1854) one of the approx. 16 genera of neotropical parrots of tribe Arini which includes the conures and macaws. Collar (1997) maintains the classification.
According to a mtDNA-based phylogenetic analysis of the genus Aratinga by Ribas and Miyaki (2004), the Nanday Conure forms a monophyletic group with the Sun Conure (A. solstitialis), Jenday Conure (A. jandaya), and Golden-capped Conure (A. auricapilla).
Tavares, et al. (2005) in a mitochondrial and nuclear DNA analysis of 29 species representing 25 of 30 genera of neotropical parrots found the Nanday’s closest relative to be Aratinga Solstitialis, the Sun Conure, and the time of divergence of the species to have been 0.5 to 1.3 mya.
Hybrids of the Nenday and Sun conures, Nenday and Jenday conures, and Nenday and Blue-Crowned conures are known.
A prehistoric relative, Nandayus vorohuensis, was described from Late Pliocene fossils found in Argentina.
(From Wikipedia, March 2013)