The Sacramento Zoo currently cares for more than 120 unique and amazing species of animals – 34 of which are Endangered. Due to so many factors impacting wildlife and wild places around the globe, the conservation work done by accredited zoos like ours has never been more important than it is today.
One of the Endangered species we proudly care for is the thick-billed parrot. Thanks to our outstanding keepers, our veterinary team, and supporters like you, our zoo is the most successful zoo in the world to breed this Endangered parrot. More than 100 chicks have been born to birds either here in our flock or to birds cared for by the Sacramento Zoo and currently residing in other accredited zoos. And YOU can help us with this vital conservation of species!
Thick-billed parrots are the only remaining parrot native to the United States, but loss of habitat due to deforestation and wildfires drove them out of Southern Arizona and New Mexico in the early 1920s. Today, wild flocks are found only in Northern and Central Mexico.
Currently there are approximately 73 thick-billed parrots living in 10 Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) accredited institutions. The Sac Zoo has housed these parrots since 1975, and currently cares for 21 thick-billed parrots, making ours the largest flock in the United States.
Conservation of species is more vital now than ever before. Your support of the Sacramento Zoo enables us to not only provide exceptional care to 34 Endangered species and more than 400 amazing animals. You also make it possible for us to contribute to local and global conservation efforts through a commitment to knowledgeable husbandry practices of critical species like the thick-billed parrot as well as through annual financial support of our conservation partners.
Thanks to a long and successful breeding program and exceptional daily care, our flock of thick-billed parrots continues to grow. In April of this year, we had a very special chick hatch. The chick was born to Delilah, a female parrot with a history of medical complications which make her unsuitable for life with the larger flock. In July 2021, Delilah was paired with TK, a genetically valuable male from another zoo that also has special needs.
And the pair hit it off!
Because Delilah needs nebulizer treatments and is sensitive to air quality, she stays indoors during the winter when the weather can exacerbate her condition. Thus, the pair were housed in a temperature-controlled indoor aviary where they laid fertile eggs out of season, producing a healthy chick during the winter months. Delilah and TK have turned out to be wonderful parents.
Now that the weather is warmer and the chick has fledged, the family will be moved into one of the zoo’s smaller outdoor aviaries for the summer months.
Conservation is a vital part of the Sacramento Zoo’s mission. These efforts become more important to the survival of wildlife and wild places with each passing day, and with your help, we will continue our work on behalf of thick-billed parrots and many other amazing species from around the world. Thanks to supporters like you, we are making a difference.