Virginia Elena Patrone

Forever Extinct #8 – Carolina Parakeet

The only native parrot of North America, the Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis) was the only species native to the eastern United States. It was found from southern New York and Wisconsin to the Gulf of Mexico, and lived in old forests along rivers.

The Carolina Parakeet has been extinct since 1918: the last known wild specimen was killed in Okeechobee County, Florida, in 1904, and the last captive bird died at the Cincinnati Zoo on February 21, 1918.

The Carolina Parakeet is believed to have died out because of a number of different threats: loss of their environment and habitat being one of the primary causes, but not the only one.

Indeed, the bird’s colourful feathers (green body, yellow head, and red around the bill) were in demand as decorations in ladies’hats, and in addition the birds were also kept as pets and could be bred easily in captivity.

Finally, they were hunted and killed in large numbers because farmers considered them a pest and it has also been hypothesized that the introduced honeybee helped contribute to its extinction by taking many of the bird’s nesting sites.

Beautiful Carolina Parakeet, forever lost because of human behaviour, greed and ignorance: in the end, only in 1938 people came to realize that this bird was actually extinct.

Lean more here and here.

Here, a video about Carolina Parakeet:

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