Birds of the World: May 2013

This species is mostly restricted to the western Sierra Madre, in western Mexico, although it was breeding in southern Arizona and New Mexico until recently and reintroduction efforts are underway in those areas of the United States.

These birds are 38-43 cm long and weigh around 300 g.

The thick-billed parrot is found in temperate conifer, mature pine-oak, pine and fir forests. They breed at altitudes of 2.000-2.700 m but outside the breeding season they range to altitudes of 1,200-3,600 m.

They feed primarily on the seeds of several pine species, especially Mexican white pine Pinus Pinus strobiformis , Pinus strobiformis , Pinus strobiformis , Pinus strobiformis pine> Pinus leophylla , pine weeping pine Pinus lumholtzi , Pinus ponderosa and Douglas fir Pseudotsuga menziesii. They also steal acorns from acorn woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus granaries and eat the juniper berries and nectar from agave flowers.

Thick-billed parrots breed in June-October, when pine cones are more abundant. They nest in tree cavities, often originally excavated by woodpeckers. There the female lays 2-4 creamy-white eggs, which she incubates alone for 25-28 days while being fed by the male. IUCN status - EN (Endangered)