The Thick-billed Parrot lives in temperate conifer, pine, mature pine-oak and fir forests. This endangered species is currently restricted to the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico. It used to live also in the southwestern United States. Efforts to reintroduce captive-bred Thick-billed Parrots back into the wild in Arizona have so far failed,due to predators.
This parrot likes to nest in tree cavities, especially old woodpecker holes. It principally feeds on seed from various pine species. It is nomadic, following the variations of cone abundance. Thick-billed Parrots can be found in flocks of 7 or 8 up to 1000 birds. In the morning they fly off in small groups to feeding areas and return in the evening. They are strong fliers and generally fly at a high altitude. There is often 25 miles between roosting trees and feeding areas. They often exhibit V-formations or linear formations while in flight.
Thick-billed Parrots are very active and noisy with a large repertoire of calls. They also have a screech that can be heard for up to 2 miles.
The above picture was taken at the Cincinnati Zoo, in July 2002.
Life on Earth