Central Chile, northern and central Argentina, and possibly Uruguay.
Trees, bushes, along small watercourses, burrows in sandstone cliff faces.
In the adult the head, neck, back, and scapulars are olive-brown with tinges of green. Lower back under tail coverts, rump, and lower underparts are yellow with olive tinge. Thighs and center of abdomen are orange-red; under tail coverts are olive yellow; throat and breast are grayish brown; upper and under wing coverts are olive; tail above is olive green tinged with blue, and below is brown. Bill is gray; iris is yellowish-white; legs are fleshy pink.
Very large flocks of these parrots were recorded in most parts of their range, but now observers report only small parties. Usually seen feeding when feeding on the ground or in trees and bushes, or may be flushed from beside small water courses. Most of the day is spent forging for seeds and fruits.
Lays 3 eggs. Incubation 24 – 25 days by the female. Male seen in the nest after the chicks hatched to feed the hen and the chicks. Young fledge at approximately 8 weeks, but are fed by parents for several weeks after this time.
Once widespread, now rare and isolated to a few breeding colonies. The adults were shot and the young were taken from their nests and considered to be a delicacy.