Extinct Species Series
Page 2 of 4

#2 “Why Gone Those Times”
Carolina Parakeets---extinct 1917
With Yellow Jessamine
Private Collection

Click on image to enlarge

This was the only member of the parrot family native to the United States -- today in some of the southern states there are small colonies of pet escapee’s that are thriving, but they do not belong here.

Though not as plentiful as the Passenger Pigeon, the Carolina Parakeet would also travel in large groups. Being fond of fruits and nuts it soon became disliked among the people who relied on these commodities to make a living -- they would arrive and devastate a crop and damage the trees.

The hunt for the Carolina Parakeet began for both the saving of the crops and for plume hunting (feathers were in vogue). Once again man was very thorough in his quest. Before long the numbers dwindled and there was an effort towards saving the species but, as with the Passenger Pigeon, this was another gregarious bird and would not mate unless conditions were right. Another case of too little too late.

We think of the Carolina Parakeet's range as strictly the southeastern United States but it ranged as far North as Illinois and there have been bones of this species found in Oklahoma.

The last Carolina Parakeet died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1917.

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