Blue-headed Macaw (Ara couloni)

Blue-headed Macaw
Judith Wolfe

          Blue-headed Macaw

Zoo collection includes:  A pair.

Found in the wild: E Peru to W Brazil; N Bolivia, east of Andes in upper tropical forests in disturbed or partly open areas with birds mostly occuring at forest edge along rivers, clearings and forested settled areas. Also in swampy habitats.

See Them at the Central Park Zoo: They live in the Tropical Rain Forest. Look up.

Description: About 15 inches long. Both adults medium-sized, mostly green, blue head, face bare, blue/grey and dark with fine lines of feathers; tail brown/red with green part way to tip. Bill grey/black. Eye yellow.

What do they eat:  Macaws eat nuts, seeds, fruit, and sometimes insects.

Life span: About 50 years

Threats: Endangered. Trapping for wild bird trade and forest degradation.

Fun Facts: The Blue-headed Macaw is not usually found in flocks, like other parrots but in pairs or family trios. Quiet, purring call while in flight; soft nasal slightly rasping notes; shrieks and squawks. Macaws have their first and fourth toe pointing backwards.
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Blue-throated Conure (Pyrrhura cruentata)

Blue-throated Conure
Judith Wolfe 

  Blue-throated Conure Eating

 Zoo collection includes: A pair

Found in the wild: also known as Blue-chested, Blue-throated or Red-rumped Conures, originate from the Atlantic rainforest in eastern Brazil.

See Them at the Central Park Zoo: In the glass enclosed habitat directly before you enter the Tropical Rain Forest.

Description: The Blue-throated Conure is a medium-sized conure, with an approximate length 10 inches from head to tail tip. This green parakeet has a dark brown crown, red ear-coverts, green cheek and orange yellow on sides of neck. It has a blue upper chest, yellow green uppertail, red underside tail feathers, greyish bill, blue outer wing feathers, and red shoulder and belly patch.

What do they eat: The diet consists mainly of tree-fruits, seeds, flowers and berries.

Threats: Habitat destruction and fragmentation have resulted in a massive decline in their numbers.

Fun Facts: This conure nests in a tree cavity. The female usually lays between two to four eggs. Both sexes are similar. The young is duller than adult.

Derbyan Parakeet(Psittacula derbiana)

Derbyan Parakeets
Judith Wolfe

      Derbyan Parakeet Pair

Zoo collection includes: Eight

Found in the wild: Southeastern Tibet, western Szechwan and northwestern Yunnan, China

See Them at the Central Park Zoo: In the enclosure between polar bear and Eider beach, facing the Central Garden.

Description: These parakeets have a lilac breast and abdomen. The nape, back, and wings are emerald green with large yellow-green patches on the wings. The tapered tail is blue. The face is gray with an iridescent blue-green wash, large black moustache-shaped markings on the lower cheeks and neck, and a black line above upper mandible that runs back to the eyes. Males are distinguished from females by their bright coral-red upper mandible, tipped in yellow. The lower mandible is black.

What do they eat: Includes wild figs, wild and orchard fruit, flowers, nectar, berries and leaves

Life span: 15 or 20 years

Threats: The species suffers from poaching for the illegal wildlife trade and fetches a high price in the black market. It is perhaps the rarest of all species of Psittacula in mainland Asia.

Fun Facts: The bills of Derbyan parakeets are designed to nest in tree cavities that woodpeckers have previously dug out. Their markings are great for camouflage among the trees. The green and black feathers are perfect in matching them with the sun shining through the trees. These parakeets are very noisy and are often spotted in flocks of about 40 individuals. There are several different color variations between subspecies that depends on distribution.


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