Rare male parrot flies in for breeding program

Europe’s last captive male Black-billed Parrot was transferred to a new zoo for a breeding program with one of the few females of its kind.

Originally from the Caribbean, the bird flew in from the Spanish Canary Islands to begin its new duties in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

The breed is officially classified as Endangered by the IUCN.

The male Red-backed Amazon (Amazon agilis) came to Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna on May 12 from Loro Parque Zoo in Tenerife, Spain.

The lovebirds have already been introduced to each other in a special enclosure where you can see them sharing treats and getting closer.

Black-billed Amazon in Vienna Zoo
The two Black-billed Amazons at Vienna Zoo in Austria.
Daniel Zuanc/Zenger

Head of Zoological Department Simone Haderthauer revealed: “We are very pleased that the sensitive bird survived the flight so well.”

She added: “Now the two are in the process of getting used to each other in peace. As of this week, visitors can see them in the facility next to the keas.”

The species’ natural home is Jamaica, where it is found in the rainforests of just two small mountain ranges.

The breed forms small flocks of no more than 30 birds where they blend into the forest canopy and are perfectly camouflaged by their green plumage.

According to the zoo, Black-billed Amazons get their name from their almost black colored beak and are very aloof with a rather gentle personality.

Additionally, the Black-billed Amazon is the smallest Amazon parrot at just 10 inches in length.

The parrots feed on fruits, seeds, and nuts, but also enjoy cultivated fruits such as mangoes, papayas, and cucumbers, as well as wild fruits.

Black-billed Amazon populations have declined significantly due to deforestation and hurricane damage fragmenting their forest, as well as poaching for food and the trade in wild parrots as pets.

Although they were fairly common in the past, they are currently listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Zoo Director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck reports: “Like many Amazon species, the Red-backed Amazon is acutely endangered in its native habitat. The main reason for this is the illegal animal trade and the destruction of habitats, including deforestation.”

He added: “We are therefore delighted to have been able to bring these two individuals together and are now hoping for offspring.”

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.

https://www.newsweek.com/amazon-delivery-rare-male-parrot-flies-breeding-program-1707537 Rare male parrot flies in for breeding program

Rick Schindler

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