As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Carlsbad's Living Desert Zoo becomes home to endangered parrots

By Stella Davis
Posted:   04/01/2013 09:41:53 AM MDT

A pair of thick-billed parrots has become a hit with visitors to the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park. The sociable birds don't talk, but they make plenty of noise in acknowledging visitors who come to see them.

Holly Payne, animal curator at the park, said the birds, considered an endangered species, were acquired from the San Antonio, Texas, zoo through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and its species survival plan.

The Living Desert is AZA accredited, and this is the second time the local zoo has participated in the program, Payne said. The park also is home to a pair of Mexican gray wolves that are also considered endangered.

The thick-billed parrot is one of only two species of parrot that once inhabited the United States, according to information provided by Payne. The other is the Carolina parakeet, which is now extinct.

The thick-billed parrot is bright green in color with a large black bill and red crown, shoulders and thighs.

It is estimated that only 1,000 to 4,000 of the birds exist in the wild. However, the native species is well-established in captive breeding programs in many zoos around the world.

Payne said the parrot used to live in Arizona, but now is found only in northern Mexico.

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