by Heike Ewing Ott
The Carolina Parakeet was the only species of parrot that was native to the Eastern US. The last known Carolina Parakeet died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918.
At one time, the Carolina Parakeet was commonly kept as a pet and aviary bird. It was readily available trapped from the wild and inexpensive. Because of its commonness and low price, it was not taken seriously by breeders of parrots and basically was not domestically bred.
When the species was wiped out due to habitat destruction, trapping, and hunting, it then occurred to a saddened avian community that even a few breeding pairs in captivity could have kept this species alive, and perhaps could even have restored it to the wild in time.
I ask of myself, and I ask of you that are breeders, that we each breed one “common,” inexpensive species in our aviaries in memory of the Carolina Parakeet. Hopefully this will keep it from happening to the Citron-Crested Cockatoo, the Nanday conure, the Grey-cheeked parakeet, or some other parrot not considered “worthy” of the serious breeder’s attention.