No, Big Bird never had any little brothers or sisters (that we know of, at least). Golden parakeets are real – and really brightly coloured!
No, no one’s showing anyone how to get to Sesame Street, and Big Bird never had any little brothers or sisters (that we know of, at least). On this Wildlife Wednesday, we’re all atwitter about golden parakeets!
These sunny soarers can be found swooping and flapping between the lowland forests of their native Brazil—more specifically, in the northern part of the country, just south of the mighty Amazon river.
- Golden parakeets live in flocks of up to 20 members—even during mating season—and they look after their own. Adults will even care for hatchlings that aren’t theirs.
- When it comes to roosts, it’s all about location for these golden gliders! They’re picky about which trees they nest in, opting only for tall, bare trees that are scattered in otherwise empty clearings. Most frequently, they frequent trees that are dead but still standing.
- These colourful parakeets are known for their sunny disposition. They’re said to be playful, with a sweet and rather goofy temperament.
- They’re not the most hardworking birds, though. When the weather takes a turn for the worst, they generally leave their roosts for only short periods of time to feed. Even when it’s sunny, they seem to enjoy regular afternoon naps.
- So, what’s a bright yellow bird to eat? Generally, a meal consists of whole fruit, seeds, pulp, buds, flowers, and the occasional cultivated plant—they’re not picky about which kind. Normally, one or two birds will keep watch for threats while the rest of the flock chows down.
Why are they threatened?
If you find these brightly coloured birds fascinating, you’re not the only one. As a matter of fact, some less-than-classy people find golden parakeets so interesting that they’re willing to buy the birds illegally. Luckily, illegal trade of these parakeets has slowed down over the years, but it was at one point a major threat.
These days, major concerns include habitat destruction and fragmentation. Road construction and urbanization can isolate flocks, and illegal logging can remove suitable roosting trees.