A Rainbow of Rainforest Parrots
Most parrots are rainforest parrots—that is, most of the species of parrots are species that live in the rain forest. Though many species have gone extinct in the wild because of deforestation and pouching for the exotics trade, many still remain in the wild, feathered in virtually every color that the rainbow has to offer.
The Scarlet Macaw: The well-known Scarlet Macaw is a large beautiful Amazon bird with mostly red feathers except for its white cheeks, and red, yellow, and blue feathers. The bird’s beauty has made it a favorite of the exotic bird trade, though the bird has continued to survive in the wilds of northern South America and Central America--flocks are now, however, much rarer sightings. In the wild, these long lived animals have been known to survive up to 75 years.
Orange-Headed Parrot: The Orange-Headed Parrot is one of the stranger looking of the rainforest parrots. Also known as the Bald Parrot, the Orange-Headed Parrot really is only orange from the neck up, but the head is so unusual that one can’t help staring at it. It looks like a pretty average parrot as you scan its body, but then when you hit the neck it looks like someone cropped a vulture’s head atop the parrot’s body and painted it orange. The effect is so disconcerting it looks like a visual trick. Unfortunately for this ugly bird, much of its rainforest habitat has also been removed, meaning that it may one day only exist in pictures.
Yellow Quaker Parrot: One of the rarer birds around, to see a Quaker Parrot that is all yellow, as these little guys are, you will have to journey to Malaysia’s Penang Bird Park. If you are a bird lover however, this will not be a chore as the bird park houses some of the rarest and most beautiful birds in the world.
Green Amazon Parrot: Perhaps no rainforest parrot has received more press than the Amazon Parrot, whose mostly green body makes it ideal for disappearing into what was once the lush Amazon rainforest. The Green Amazon Parrot—or what is known as the Orange Winged Amazon Parrot despite being all green except for a bit of trim on its wings and its yellow cheeks—has perhaps had more contact with humans than virtually any other parrot. It is now a common house pet and it has developed quite an ability to mimic human speech, often developing vocabularies of several dozen words.
Another testament to this parrots adaptability is the fact that many of these parrots have now begun to live by their own means in both London and Florida—no doubt escapees from captivity that have learned how to adapt. Quite amazing for rainforest parrots unfamiliar with the concrete jungles of the north!
Blue Macaw (Hyacinth Macaw): Yet another common pet parrot is the Hyacinth Macaw, whose beautiful rich blue feathers are almost as popular as the white feathers of its Macaw cousins. This unfortunate bird, who does not make its home in the Amazon, has had difficulty finding a home where its human neighbors do not encroach on it. That, combined with the pouching that it has undergone has tilted it towards becoming an endangered species though it still survives in numbers in the area of southern Brazil—though no longer in rainforests.
Indigo Macaw (Lear’s Macaw): The Lear’s Macaw, or Indigo Macaw, is often confused with the Hyacinth Macaw, which is just a bit larger and a few shades off in difference. These dark blue birds however are quite stunning in themselves, and unfortunately quite rare.
Violet Parrot: There are even Violet Parrots. The Pionus violaceus, despite its name, actually only has a tinge of violet along the wings. It is mostly a rather bluish bird with a bit of brown and red, but all faded in such a way that it doesn’t draw too much attention to itself. It is a native of Brazil and because of its dull appearance has managed to avoid being victimized by the bird trade.