Red-crowned Parrots, or Amazona viridigenalis, is a mostly green parrot with a red forehead. Historically they lived in forests in northeastern Mexico, but recently there have been some birds who started to live in some U.S. states, including California, Florida, Texas, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. It is thought that they either were released, escaped, or naturally moved. Red-crowned parrots are also called the Green-cheeked or Red-crowned Amazon. Red-crowned parrots usually eat fruit, seeds, and nuts. When they aren’t breeding, they look for food in flocks. They usually forage in the morning or evening. Red-crowned parrots form life-long pairs. Groups of these pairs will often nest close to each other, creating colonies. Baby and young red-crowned parrots are a duller green than the adults.
Why Are They Endangered?
There are less than 2,500 wild red-crowned parrots left and that number is constantly decreasing. In 1988 they were categorized as threatened on the Endangered Species List, but they were soon changed to endangered. The main reason red-crowned parrots are endangered is habitat loss and trapping. Their habitats can be destroyed by drought, wildfires, and heatwaves which all are becoming more numerous with global warming. If these occur during the nesting season, it can harm the bird’s offspring which hurts their population a lot. Their habitat can also be damaged by humans destroying the red-crowned parrot’s environment to build cities. Another reason they are endangered is trapping for pets. These parrots, like many other species of parrot, are often illegally taken from their homes in the wild and sold as pets. Unfortunately red-crowned parrots are very loud and often call and sing near their nest sites, which makes it easy for trappers to find them.
The forests where red-crowned parrots live are home to lots of animals. They all depend on each other and the forest to thrive. When one animal becomes endangered or worse, extinct, it affects all the animals and plants that depend on it, indirectly or directly. Biodiversity is how the earth has a variety of animals, plants and other species, including small animals like plankton which are easily looked over, but are depended on by the entire ocean. Humans and all other species alike depend on all the resources that together are made. But when that gets thrown out of balance, for example, when humans use more than the ecosystem can sustain, everyone suffers.
What Can You Do?
The main thing you can do is not buy wild birds and other animals as pets. They are not meant to be pets, and often having wild animals as pets can be dangerous for both the humans and the pets. Sometimes wild animals are small when they are young, but grow too large or wild for humans to keep them. This leaves the animal abandoned, often in a strange place. This is dangerous for both animals and humans. While that mostly applies to larger animals, you shouldn’t keep birds like the red-crowned parrots as pets either. They would be happier and safer in the wild. Wild animals are not pets. Another thing you can do is raise awareness about the red-crowned parrots and other birds, and the illegal pet trade which is threatening their lives. You can also raise money and donate to the World Wildlife Fund or other similar organizations.
"Red-crowned Parrot." American Bird Conservancy, 9 June 2020, abcbirds.org/bird/red-crowned-parrot/. Accessed 13 May 2020.
Kaufman, Kenn. "Red-crowned Parrot." Audubon, www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/red-crowned-parrot. Accessed 13 May 2020.
"Red-Crowned Parrots." The California Parrot Project, Pasadena Audubon Society, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, californiaparrotproject.org/red_crowned_parrot.html. Accessed 17 May 2020.
*all pictures and videos used with permission, and/or taken from the sites above.