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Hatching of Endangered Thick-billed Parrot

Categories: Animals, Zoo Babies
Thick-billed Parrot Chick

An Endangered thick-billed parrot hatched at the Sacramento Zoo on August 23! Currently, the young chick spends its time in a nest box in the exhibit with the rest of the parrots, being cared for by both of its parents.

Thick-billed parrot chicks, including ours, fledge from the nest at around two months of age. While learning to navigate in their environment, the chick continues to receive care and feeding from parents, occasionally up to a year’s time. As the chick venture from the nest box, you will be able to distinguish it from the adults by their juvenile white beaks; adults have black beaks.

Thick-billed Parrot
Thick-billed Parrot Adult

Thick-billed parrots are one of the long-term success stories at the Sacramento Zoo. In 1985, Susan Healy, the Zoo’s Supervisor of Birds and Herps became the studbook keeper for this species, and in 1988 she was given the added task of coordinating and managing the Species Survival Plan® (SSP) under the guidance of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The Sacramento Zoo has been a home to this species since 1975 and is the most successful zoo in the world to breed thick-billed parrots.

Thick-billed parrots are the only parrot native to the United States, but loss of habitat due to deforestation and fires drove them out of Southern Arizona and New Mexico in the early 1920s, to ranging only in Northern and Central Mexico.