October 28, 2016 – Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis)
Requested by: @ryanhodnett
These now extinct birds were one of only two species of North American parrot and were found from the East Coast of the United States to the Great Plains. Their diet consisted of fruit and seeds. Large flocks would often feed on agricultural crops, such as apples and wheat. They were known to have eaten the toxic seeds of cockleburs, which may have made them unpalatable to predators. Not much is known about their nesting habits, but many females seem to have shared one tree cavity nest, each one laying up to two eggs. Many factors contributed to their extinction, including deforestation, being hunted as a crop pest and for their feathers, and the introduction of honey bees, which may have competed with them for nesting sites. The last reported Carolina Parakeet was seen in 1910.
Carolina parakeets went extinct in 1918. I wasn’t sure what you meant by “last reported” (presumably in the wild). It’s always nice to see art of them though.
Thanks for the correction, I definitely could have worded this better and should have had the 1918 date in there. According to the IUCN, the last captive Carolina Parakeet died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918. The last specimens were collected in 1904 and the last wild record was of the subspecies ludoviciana in 1910.