Saving the Thick-billed Parrot

Thick-billed Parrots at Loro Parque, Tenerife, photo from

According to the IUCN Red List website, the Thick-billed parrot is classed as endangered and has been for over 18 years. There are estimated to be less than 3000 of these beautiful birds remaining in the wild. The biggest problem this species faces is a lack of nesting sites; they nest in Aspen trees which over the years have been extensively reduced in numbers due to logging, and the ones that are left are old and beginning to rot.

Find out more about Thick-billed Parrots, the threats they face, and how the World Parrot Trust are helping HERE.

At the Tropical Butterfly House, we’re doing our bit to help this species, by raising money for the World Parrot Trust. In fact, in the last 4 weeks, we’ve raised over £800!! The bird shows attract big audiences during the Summer holidays especially, so we have been raising awareness about the threats facing parrots all over the world, including the illegal parrot trade and habitat loss.

Thick-billed Parrots, photo from

It certainly helps to have 2 adorable Hahn’s Macaws to pull on the heart strings too! We have trained them both to play dead (and stay still looking dead for a while) which gets a big ‘awww’ and encourages people to dig deep in their pockets and make a donation. Members of the audience raise their hands if they wish to donate, and we call Ché or Esteban to them, they take the coin from their fingertips and then fly back to one of the donation bowls at the front of the audience and drop the coin in.

Esteban, Hahn's Macaw, almost playing dead (usually he has his head right back but he kept posing for the camera!!) photo by Ben Coulson

Sometimes, we can’t get round everybody as Ché and Este are small birds and can get worn out quickly, especially in the warm weather we’ve experienced in the last few weeks. We monitor them closely and stop as soon as they’re showing signs of getting fed up, too hot or too tired and the audience are usually very understanding of us putting our little birdies’ comfort and health first AND still make their donations at the end of the show!

Want to make a donation?

Visit the World Parrot Trust website and do your bit to help parrots in the wild  

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