This marvelous parrot was one of the first New World animals brought alive to Europe, in the 1500s. Long before, it was prized as a pet, and for its feathers, by many Native American cultures. Live birds were traded to Arizona and New Mexico from Mexico for more than 700 years. Known as Mo to the Mayans, it was revered by their Kings, some of who wore rubber rings on their faces in honor of it. Threatened in Mexico and Central America, it remains common in much of South America. First hatched in the US in 1916, it breeds well in captivity.
Found only on the Indonesian islands of Seram, Saparua and Haruku, this parrot has long been popular with collectors. It was kept in Europe as early as 1601 and centuries before in China. Trapping for the pet trade had made it a highly endangered bird by the 1980s but many are now bred in captivity. It can live more than 60 years.
In most classification systems, this northern South American bird is considered one of the most evolved of the 368 species of parrots throughout the world. It has a unique set of elongated red and blue feathers on the back of its head that can be raised into a head-dress like structure, so that another common name is “Red fan parrot”. Until the 1970s it was very rare in zoos, but is now frequently bred, including at the DWA.
This Mexican parrot has long been a popular pet, prized for its “talking” and “singing”. This led to trappers stealing young birds from nests wherever they could find them. In two decades, the population fell from 700,000, in the mid-1970s, to only 7,000! This decline continues, worsened by habitat destruction. However, this species breeds well in captivity, with many hatched each year. The breeding pair at the DWA have so far reared two broods of chicks in full public view.