16 Extinct Parrots (You Should Know About)

Parrots are becoming more and more endangered throughout the years.

With the wide range of threats that they encounter, it’s only going to get worse.

Due to deforestation, hunting and climate change, this problem is going to stay with us until something drastic happens.

To make people more aware of the situation, I’m going to mention some of the extinct parrots.

Mauritius Grey Parrot

The first one on the list of extinct parrots is the Mauritius grey parrot or otherwise known as a Mascarenes grey parakeet or a Thirioux’s grey parrot.

It belongs to the Mascarenes islands of Mauritius which is located in the Indian sea east of Madagascar.

The Mauritius grey parrot is part of the Psittaculini family, as are most of the parrots found on these islands.

They become extinct (roughly) in 1764.

The fossils of this parrot were found around 1973 by Louis Etienne Thirioux who found them in a cave in the Mascarene islands.

This grey parrot was forced to become excited due to them ruining the crops of the locals, this made the locals look at them as pests and therefore wanted to get rid of them.

This mixed with deforestation made them become extinct in the late 1700s

The Mauritius grey parrot was a beautiful bird.

Had a long tail, primary grey and typically one of the bigger species of bird in the Psittaculini family.

Weirdly enough, these parrots were extremely easy to force into excitation and yes, even in the 18th century.

Typically, capturing one Mauritius grey parrot will result in it calling for the rest of the flock.

The flock would follow the call and come towards the captured bird, making it very easy for the farmers to kill these “pest”.


Norfolk Island Kākā

Next is the Norfolk Island Kākā parrots.

The Norfolk Island Kākā is very similar to the New Zealand Kākā and almost look identical.

They both have olive-brown feathers with a mix of orange and dark yellow on their cheeks, throat and breast.

Although the New Zealand Kākā inhabits in the native forest of New Zealand, the Norfolk Island’s Kākā originates from the Norfolk Islands which are located to the east of mainland Australia.

The founder of these birds James Cook travelled to the Norfolk Islands in 1774 and the parrot soon after become extinct.

These unique birds that belong in the nestoridae family lived in all types of tall threes and fed of shrubs and bushes.

The Norfolk Islands Kākā started to become endangered back in the 17th century when the Europeans hunted them for food when exploring the island.

After the Europeans left the island, soon after comes the first batch of settlers that also hunted them for food.

This massive destruction in the breeding process, made this parrot fall into extinction in the mid-1800s.


Black-fronted Parakeet

The Black-fronted Parakeet or also known as the Tahiti Parakeet due to where they originate from.

This parrot comes from the Tahiti and the islands around it, it’s located in the southern part of Pacific Oceans and is home to some of the best beaches in the world.

It’s the largest islands in the French Polynesia and is formed from a large volcanic mountain with large, tall trees which made it perfect living conditions for the Black-fronted Parakeet.

Again, the British naval captain and explore James Cook was the first to locate this specie of parrot on the island back in 1769.

It was identified to average around 10 inches tall and was mostly green and had various other colours like black, red and blue located around its body.

These birds became extinct because their feathers were commonly used in arts and crafts and were hunted for these reasons.

Due to their perfect-looking feather structure, the rich wanted these feathers on such ornaments, outfits or pens.


Broad-billed Parrot

This next parrot, the broad-billed parrot is one of the largest parrots in the Psittaaculidae family and used to be found east of Madagascar in the Mascarene Islands.

People say that this parrot shared similarities with most Mascarene species of parrot.

The most identifying feature of this parrot was its large beak, this would allow the broad-billed parrot to crack hard-shelled seeds.

The broad-billed parrot was found by a British biologist named Richard Owen back in 1866 which he described the bird to having various red colours running throughout its body and a blue head.

The main dietary these parrots would occur is various seeds and fruits.

In particular, they enjoyed the seeds of Latanaia Loddigesii and very hard palm nuts.

This is when their large beak came in hand, this beak would be able to tear apart these hard-shelled nuts with ease making their favourite food source easily accessible.

Like most parrots which have become extinct from the Mascarene Islands, it was because of farmers looking at them like they were pests.

Pest’s which ruined their crops and therefore they tried to control this.

However, this isn’t the only reason for them becoming extinct and various other things such as deforestation may have pushed them towards it also.


Rodrigues Parrot

The Rodrigues Parrot or otherwise known as the Leguat’s parrot is another bird which originates from the Mascarenes Islands, East of Madagascar.

As you can tell when going through this list, a lot of the extinct parrots come from these islands.

Also throughout this article, I’ve mentioned about why these parrots have been extinct from this island and it’s because of the farm owners looking at them as pests back in the 17th century.

This parrot was a bright green, with a mixture of various other tints of greens from head to claw.

But although the size is unknown, it’s commonly been said that this parrot was rather large and in particular had a large head, beak and tail.

The only parrot it shares some similarities to was the Great-billed parrot (mentioned above).

The subfossils found of this bird proves that its beak was adapted to break some of the hardest seeds on the islands.


Seychelles Parakeet

The small island of Seychelles is home to the Seychelles Parakeet.

Seychelles is located in the Indian Ocean located east of Africa.

This rather small island is home to numerous dream-like beaches, coral reefs and now nature reserves.

Before the Seychelles Parakeet become extinct in the 1900s there was a large amount of coconut plantation and farms that filled the land on this island which may have been one of the main reasons for them exterminated.

They weren’t the largest bird and was considered a standard parrot size at around 16 inches tall.

Its main recognizable features were its red shoulder patch, large red beak and various green coloured feathers running down its body.

Telling the difference between a female Seychelles Parakeet and a male one was fairly easy.

You can identify them due to the male having a black cheek band, the female parrots didn’t.


Carolina Parakeet

A Carolina Parakeet is part of the conure family and also share similarities by having a small green body with a bright yellow head and a hint of orange.

This is the first parrot on the list which comes from the southern states of New York, Wisconsin and the Gulf of Mexico.

There aren’t many parrots which native to the United States and the Carolina Parakeet is one out of three species to do so.

This parrot would be found in swamp-type conditions and the trees surrounding it.

To this day, wildlife experts and scientists are still unsure of why the Carolina Parakeet went extinct.

They assume that it could have been done through natural events such as global warming and disease but also believe that it may have been from pest control and deforestation.

This parrot was found by an explorer called Sir George Peckham back in the 1500s later to be extinct in 1918.

It was considered to be one of the more colorful bird types that were found in North America and it’s a real shame to their disappearance.

A fun little fact about these parrots is that people thought they were poisonous.

This is because when cats would eat them and then die.

They later found out that these birds ate cockleburs which is a toxic seed.

The seed contains glycoside carboxyatractyloside which is poisonous to most household pets and cattle.


Cuban Macaw

Another aesthetically pleasing parrot, the Cuban Macaw.

It’s been said that they were around 20 inches long and had a variety of colours.

The colours would range from red, orange, yellow, white, green, brown and blue making this an extremely colourful bird.

As this was a fairly small bird it was found nesting in hollow trees and normally lived with large families.

In Cuba they loved to inhabit around the Zapata Swamp, this was perfect living conditions for them as the rotten trees would have small cubby-holes for them to nest in.

It also made it harder for hunters to find them as they’ll have to tread through swampy waters.

This bird was a species of a macaw and was native to the island of Cuba.

It was found late into the 15th century and eventually become extinct in the late 1800s.

But why did these Cuban macaws go extinct? We all know that parrots are beautiful creatures and others realized that too and wanted them as pets.

A load of Cuban Macaws was hunted and traded to the Europeans as cage birds/pets.

Because there was such a high demand for this and due to many natural events, such as hurricanes quickly caused this parrot to become extinct.


Martinique Amazon

Next on the list is the Martinique Amazon parrot, this parrot had various colours on its body but the primary colour was green with a hint of orange.

It doesn’t share many similarities to any other bird apart from one, the red-necked amazon.

You could find these in Martinique, the Lesser Antilles and also the Caribbean.

Unfortunately, this bird was found in the 1700s and later to become extinct in the same century.

People are unsure of their disappearance, but it’s assumed that deforestation and hunting was the cause.

In the 1700s the Dominican’s had a regional movement to clear forested areas for farm and crop purposes causing this bird to become extinct.

Being just north of Venezuela, there are signs that these parrots where also shipped and sold globally for a hefty price.

At this current time, there are only two Amazona parrots which are declared extinct.

These are the Guadeloupe Amazon and the Martinique Amazon parrot.


Guadeloupe Parakeet

If you didn’t know already the French own islands in the Caribbean, including the island of Guadeloupe.

This island housed the Guadeloupe parakeet, this parrot looked spectacular and had remarkably green feathers with a small orange patch located on the top of its skull.

These parrots weren’t very big and were about the same size as a common blackbird.

The unique thing about the Guadeloupe parakeet is that they were known for there characteristics, they were extremely loving and were quick learners.

This parrot had the ability to pick up short catchphrases and easily copy-catted your physical traits.

They would nest in heavy woodland areas and in particular tree holes to save themselves from predators.

This parrot would feed of fruits and seeds, a lot like any wild parrot. It’s unsure how and why this parrot become extinct, but the Birdlife International estimate that it’s due to hunting.


Newton’s Parakeet

Another parrot that inherits from the East of Madagascar in the Mascarene Islands, unlike most Mascarene native parrots which were green this parrot had very dark grey feathers with a blimp of white.

It was an averaged size parrot, the males sat around 16 inches tall including its tail as the females would be much smaller at only being around 8 inches tall.

I say including because the Newton’s Parakeet had a rather long feathered tail in comparison to other parrots in it’s Psittacula family.

Most of the Mascarenes parrots become extinct during the 18th century and out of the eight recorded Mascarenes parrots only the echo Parakeet survived.

This would have typically occurred to the combined issues of both hunting and clearing trees for farmland.

The first sighting of the Newton Parakeet was by François Leguat in the 1700s and soon become extinct around 100 years later.


Guadeloupe Amazon

This next parrot was another member of the French Caribbean islands based in North America.

The island its self is pretty spectacular and resembles a butterfly and is split in half by the sea, by only a few hundred metres.

However, back onto the topic of parrots.

The Guadeloupe parrot had a completely black head with yellow feathers which is unlike any other Amazon parrot.

Explorers didn’t get to see much of this bird as it was considered extremely rare by 1779 and not so long after that, it became extinct.

Being that this parrot was rare in that day in age, it was hard for an ornithologist to understand and study the behaviour of this bird.

Therefore, there isn’t a lot that we know about this.

They were only presumed to have lived in forested areas and eat fruit and seeds.


Raiatea Parakeet

The Raiatea Parakeet has many names for it, people know it as the society parakeet, the brown-headed parakeet and the society kakariki.

Name it as you will, but the most common name for this species of parrot is the Raiatea parakeet.

It was a rather small parrot that only stood around 10 inches tall and was mostly a light brown colour with various greys and blacks highlighting throughout its body and head.

This bird was only noted to be around a few years after its first discovery.

They loved the Society Islands due to its warm tropical weather and remote location.

At the time of discovery, there wasn’t much human activity on these islands and still to this day.

The population is only around 275,000 on all 14 islands on the French Polynesia.


Paradise Parrot

Next are the Paradise parrot and one of the newer parrots on the extinct list.

This parrot become extinct in 1927 and lived in eastern Australia.

Australia’s climate has changed rapidly through the years and there are 26 species of Australian bird which are classified as endangered or extremely rare.

This bird was mainly covered in blackish grey feathers and a blimp of white around the back of its head falling onto the chest of the bird.

Being one of the more recently extinct animals, there is a lot more information known about this parrot.

The reason this parrot got to the point of distinction is that during the 1900s there were a lot of bush fires, forcing these birds out of habitat and eventually homeless.

There was also a lack of nutrients due to overgrazing constantly occurring year after year.

Overgrazing is simply when land is exposed to grazing over an extended period of time and hasn’t got time to recover, grow and re-build its environment.


Spix’s Macaw

The spix’s macaw isn’t considered extinct worldwide and is only extinct in the wild as of the year 2000.

Currently, there are 160 spix macaws in captivity to protect them from completely becoming extinct.

This macaw is the rarest of all macaws and actually holds the Guinness World Record of being the rarest parrot on earth.

This birds colours are honestly spectacular and have a wonderful baby blue feathering flowing through its body.

It also has dark blues on its wingtips and a white face. It’s part of the Psittacidae family and originates from Brazil.

If you didn’t know already macaws are considered the biggest species of parrot.

In the world of parrots, there are over 370 different types of these majestic creatures and macaws have always been the biggest.

They’re typically a few pounds heavier than other parrots and have a massive wingspan of up to 60 inches.

Being the biggest species of parrot they also have the longest life tendency.

There has been recording of the spix macaw of living for up to 60 years old and they tend to old live their owners.

The spix and many other macaws also come equipt with a strong beak, this beak was strong enough to crack most hard-shelled seeds and even coconuts.

But despite them being one of the bigger parrots to exist, they are known to be gentle and affectionate with their owners.

They have been introduced to a breeding program in hopes that they’ll breed more and become less endangered.

The reason for this macaw becoming so rare is because of its beauty and people wanting them as household pets.

This rapidly became a trend and there was a “market” for this which made people hunt them and then sell them for money.

It’s a big shame that these birds are becoming closer and closer to being extinct. In my eyes, they were best looking parrot around.

It was also seen in the famous cartoon film Rio, this film brought awareness to the parrot’s current state and help promote it around the world.


Oceanic Eclectus Parrot

Probably the most unrecognizable name of parrot on this list and this will be due to how old this parrot is.

It’s said that this parrot has been extinct for over 3000 years and the disappearance is still unknown till this day.

They come from Tonga, which is part of the Polynesian Kingdom.

There are over 180 islands in the Polynesian Kingdom and most of the islands are uninhabited from humans and have some of the most picture-perfect beaches, coral reefs and tropical rainforest.

Due to not having much information on this bird, it’s unsure of their exact feather pattern.

However, they did share similarities to the Eclectus parrot.

Assuming they also shared the same colours they’d typically be bright green for the males, and a dark red for the females.

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