Saint Lucia amazon
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|Saint Lucian Amazona Versicolor|
|On St Lucia|
Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist mountain forest. It is threatened by habitat loss. The species had declined from around 1000 birds in the 1950s to 150 birds in the late 1970s. At that point a conservation program began to save the species, which galvanized popular support to save the species, and by 1990 the species had increased to 300 birds. Although the population in Saint Lucia is small it is still expanding.
The story of its salvation from the brink of extinction (including the influence of conservationist Paul Butler) is told in Chapter 7 of the 2010 book "Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard" by Chip & Dan Heath.
This beautiful bird is the only parrot in Saint Lucia. In the darkness of the forest it blends into the green leafy world but, in sunshine, its red, green and blue feathers light up splendidly. Its Latin name, versicolor, means 'of many colors'; indeed it is, with green wings, a blue face and forehead, a red breast, and maroon and mottled colouring nearer the belly. The primary feathers are dark blue, and the tail bears a yellow tip. This parrot's appearance is unmistakable in Saint Lucia, not least because it is the only parrot present. It can also be distinguished by its noisy and raucous screeching, cackling and honking noises.
The St Lucia Amazon parrot is rare in captivity. Not much is known about their breeding requirements. It has been recommended that pairs are isolated in the breeding season because they tend to get aggressive towards other birds during this time. Breeding activities usually start in March and go on until August. The hen lays 1 to 2 eggs which she incubates for 24 days. The young fledge when they are 70 to 77 days old.
- BirdLife International (2013). "Amazona versicolor". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Edward Whitley, Gerald Durrell's Army, John Murray Publishers Ltd, 1992.
- BirdLife Species Factsheet.
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