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Quick Facts
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Genus: Rhynchopsitta
Species: pachyrhyncha

Length: 15 inches
Incubation: 28 days
Offspring: 1 - 4

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Thick-Billed Parrot

Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha

Two Thick-billed Parrots (126 KB)

The Thick-Billed Parrot is generally green in color with a broad red band on its forehead and red splotches on the bend of it wings and its thighs. They historically have appeared as far north as Arizona but are now primarily found in the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico. They are very active and noisy with a large repertoire of calls. They also have a screech that can be heard for up to 2 miles.


The Thick-Billed parrot generally feeds on pinecones, but will also eat acorns, buds from conifersWhat does conifers mean?, and other foods.


These parrots nest in cavities and prefer a temperateWhat does temperate mean? climate. They nest only at high elevations (above 6550 ft) and usually roost at the same elevation. Due to their primary food source, they tend to stay near pine forests.


Several raptors pose a threat to this parrot. Notable are the Red-Tailed Hawk, Northern Goshawk, and the Peregrine Falcon. Their nesting and roosting sites are also in danger from the Ring-Tailed Cat.


They can be found in flocks of 7 or 8 up to 1000 birds. In the morning they fly off in small groups to feeding areas and return in the evening. They are strong fliers and generally fly at a high altitude. There is often 25 miles between roosting trees and feeding areas. They often exhibit V-formations or line formations while in flight. It is possible to make out pairs within the flock during flight.


Nesting pairs lay a clutch of 2-4 eggs. These eggs hatch after about 28 days and the young are independent in about 7 months. They use a disyllabic call that their young can recognize.

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