- ORDER: Psittaciformes
- FAMILY: Psittacidae
Red-crowned Parrots usually announce themselves with throaty screeches, well before they're seen. They are native to a small region of northeastern Mexico and South Texas, and some escaped individuals have set up breeding populations in a few large cities. These large, leaf-green parrots fly with shallow, fluttery wingbeats and then abruptly disappear when they land in treetops. Like many parrot species, their numbers have been decimated by the illegal cage bird trade, and Red-crowned Parrots are on the Red Watch List.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Within their native range, which includes South Texas cities such as Brownsville, Red-crowned Parrots can be easy to find. Watch for them flying fairly high with distinctive shallow wingbeats, especially in morning and evening as they travel to and from roost sites. These long-lived birds often use the same areas for decades, such as in the pecan trees of Oliveira Park in Brownsville, making them easier to locate.
- Amazona Tamaulipeca (Spanish)
- Amazone à joues vertes (French)
- Cool Facts
- As of 2019, more than 700 Red-crowned Parrots live in southernmost Texas. They were first recorded there in 1885, apparently as a result of a severe drought in Mexico. Their numbers in Texas started to increase in the 1980s, possibly again prompted by severe weather in northeastern Mexico.
- The Red-crowned Parrot is the official mascot of the city of Brownsville, Texas.
- Like other large parrots, Red-crowned uses its bill to grab onto branches and steady itself as it moves around on branches, almost like using a hand.
- Red-crowned Parrots have been clocked flying as fast as 27 miles per hour.
- In 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it considers the Red-crowned Parrot native to Texas as well as Mexico. Because the species was not mentioned in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, however, the species does not receive federal protection under that act.
- Red-crowned Parrots may live 20 years or longer in the wild; captive birds may live over 50 years, even to age 75.