WatchList Species Account for Green Parakeet
(Aratinga holochlora)

Qualifies for the list as a Red List Species

 

Green Parakeet
Photo: Greg Lavaty

Found in Mexico and northern Central America, the Green Parakeet became established in southern Texas beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and is common in the Brownsville area, where it has been breeding for a number of years. It is unclear if the U.S. population represents colonization by vagrants from the south, or escaped or released captive birds. Though the bird is nonmigratory, it does wander in response to food supplies. Its Mexican range is only 150 miles away.

 

The species favors open woodland, pine forest, humid forest, and farmland, from the lowlands to mountains up to approximately 7,000 feet. Generally a canopy feeder,foraging within woodlands for fruits, berries, nuts, and seeds, this parakeet will also eat corn, and flocks of these birds are sometimes considered a crop pest.

 

In south Texas, the Green Parakeet prefers urban areas with large shade trees for feeding, and is especially fond of palm trees for roosting and nesting cavities. It sometimes nests colonially in crevices on cliffs. After the breeding season, the bird forms large communal roosts.

 

An overall decline of the species has occurred due to conversion of forest to agriculture. In addition to habitat destruction, the bird is threatened by hunting and by taking young for the pet trade.