The Yellow-eared Parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis), is an endangered parrot of tropical America. It is endemic to a narrow area of andean mountains in Colombia and is closely associated to the wax palm Ceroxylon quindiuense which is itself an endangered species.
Range and habitat
This species lives in a few areas of the Western and Central Cordillera of Colombia with the presence of Wax palm where the parrot can nest and live. However, their numbers had been reduced drastically"?by 90 percent, to 81 individuals in 1999, because of hunting and habitat destruction, particularly the wax palm that was traditionally cut down and used each year on Palm Sunday.
panoramic of Cocora valley with wax palms
This parrot lives in cloud forests about 1800 "? 3000 meters over sea level, and nests in the hollow trunks of the palms, usually 25-30 meters over the floor level.
It is a small bird, with an average of 42-46 cm. long, and about 285 gr. weight. Its upper body is bright green, black colored around the eyes. The origin of the common epithet "Yellow-eared" is caused for the yellow patch of feathers at the sides of its head. The yellow-eared parrot mates for life. Its main source of food are the fruits of the wax palm.
From 1998, Fundación ProAves with the support of Fundacion Loro Parque, American Bird Conservancy and CORANTIOQUIA have undertaken an intensive conservation project that has led to one of Latin America's most successful recoveries of a critically endangered bird. With protection and community support, the Yellow-eared Parrot population has climbed to over 600 individuals.