Rare Parrots and Wild Bird Feeder
Rare Parrot Sighted in Brazil
The populations of many of Britain’s wild birds have been adversely affected by new farming methods and the loss of their natural habitat. However, can certainly help many species to thrive. It is vital that we take steps to support our wild birds because it is all too easy for them to disappear for good.
Where A Wild Bird Feeder Won’t Help
Across the world many species have been lost and it was thought that the Spix macaw was one of them. This delightful blue parrot was a native of Brazil and named for the German naturalist Johann Baptist von Spix. It was featured in the 2011 animated film Rio. Sadly much of the parrot’s natural habitat has been lost due to deforestation and its population further diminished by trapping for the pet trade. The bird was believed to be extinct in the wild having not been sighted since 2000. That is until last month when a Brazilian farmer spotted a
Spix macaw in flight near the town of Curaca.
The Spix macaw is a medium sized parrot with fabulous blue plumage. It has a limited range as it is dependent on the Caraibeira tree for nesting and the dry forest climate of northeast Brazil. The species has been maintained through a captive breeding program and trade is illegal other than for the purpose of conservation, scientific research and education. You cannot keep Spix macaws as pets. The Brazilian government is conducting a project to restore the Spix macaw to the wild as soon as there are enough breeding birds and sufficient habitat is available.
The recent sighting of the bird has brought new hope to the region. Local farmer Nauto Sergio Oliveira saw the bird and his wife Lourdes and daughter Damilys then went trekking the next morning in search of the parrot. They found the parrot and Damilys managed to capture it on video. The footage isn’t the best but has proved to be enough to convince conservationists that the bird is, indeed, a Spix macaw.
Spix Macaws in Captivity
There is some doubt as to whether the Spix macaw is a wild bird or a captive bird which has been released or which has escaped. Conservationists have been in the area for some time and probably would have seen any wild birds which remained. A network of local people is now searching for the parrot and the government is launching an official expedition. The bird is important to the local people and is considered to be a symbol of the region.
There are around 130 Spix macaws in captivity and these could eventually lead to the bird being reintroduced to the wild. In the meantime the recent sighting has raised local spirits and provided a valuable reminder of the beauty and importance of this species. The bird could also provide conservationists with an example to study in the wild in order to help them assess the bird’s needs and behaviour. If they can find it again!
Closer to Home
It is vital that we all do everything we can to support our native birds. We wouldn’t want any British birds to suffer the fate of the Spix macaw. Wild bird feeders, bird baths and nesting boxes can all help our birds to survive and then thrive.