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Green-Cheeked Conure Bird Research Report
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Green Cheeked Parrot
Report:
Green Cheeked Parrot
By Anthony Waller

Introduction


When people hear or think about a Green Cheeked parrot, it is common for people to just think that it is just another bird in life that lives in a cage and gets fed.  All those people are completely wrong about the Green Cheeked parrot because it is more interesting than it seems.  Many people all over the world would love to see the Green Cheeked parrot in person, and some people travel great distances just to see them or even purchase one.  This specific kind of parrot is special, and everyone should learn how it lives in the wild.  This species is currently endangered and could become extinct.



Findings


Green Cheeked parrots are synonymously called conures and parakeets because people argue over which name is correct. Various sources of information that I am going to use call it a conure, parakeet, or a parrot.  In my paper I am just going to consider it a parrot, even though some of my sources may call it a parakeet or a conure.  
The Green Cheeked parrot is one species out of the 372 parrot species that exist around the world (Anonymous G 2012,
1).  All the parrots are considered to be Psittacines,  the parrot's scientific name, that all different types of parrots have evolved from.  Some people believe this kind of parrot has evolved from a dinosaur long ago, but its just a guess (Renner 2012, 1). The Green Cheeked parrot's scientific name Pyrrhura molinae  (Anonymous F 2012, 3).  The Green Cheeked parrot scientific classification is very unique in its own way.  The Green Cheeked parrot's kingdom is called Animalia, and its kingdom's name is shared by many other animals, even humans (Anonymous F 2012, 1).  The Green Cheeked parrot's phylum is called Chordata, and the parrot's class is Aves. The parrot's order is called Psittaciformes.  Then there is their family called Psittacidae (Ethan 2012, 1). There genus is called Pyrrhura (Anonymous F 2012, 1).  The rest of the scientific classification for the Green Cheeked parrot is; there tribe is called Arini, there subfamily is called Arinae, and there superfamily is called Psittacoidae. The Green Cheeked parrot has relatives who are similar to itself, but are slightly varied in color (Anonymous F 2012,  2). Some of its known relatives are the Cinnamon parrot, the Yellow Sides parrot, the Pineapple parrot, and the Turquoise parrot.  The Green Cheeked parrots and their relatives are very similar in their ways of life; like their behavior and eating habits.  But, the only major difference is the way they look.  The parrot got the name Green Cheeked Parrot because it means they have green colored cheeks.  The tops of their heads is dark grayish, and the tail is maroon (Lara Vries 2012, 2).  The name is nothing special, it just describes the parrot, but it is considered to be a Brazilian-Portuguese name (Rosella 2012, 1).

The Green Cheeked parrots are mainly in the forests of Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina (Anonymous D 2012, 2).  They like to live in low and dry alongside tall rain forests (Carlos 2007, 1).   Their preferred habitats are jungles, woodlands, and forests (Anonymous 2012 D, 1).  Parrots prefer to be in groups because when they are together in groups they can survive with less difficulty (Brightsmith 2012, 4).  When Green Cheeked parrots form a group, it is called a flock.  When the Green Cheeked parrots have a flock, the flock usually includes ten to twenty parrots.  In the jungles, woodlands, and forests the parrots prefer to live in tall trees.  On occasion, living in tall trees is not an option, so they have to live in shorter trees.  They prefer to live in taller trees because it makes it hard for predators to kill them and eat them. Also it makes it hard for predators to get their eggs.  In the shorter trees, parrot predators can climb up to their nests and steal their eggs.  Another benefit for Green Cheeked parrots living in taller trees is  when a predator from up above comes down towards a flock, the parrots can flee without any trouble as they fly down from the trees.

The Green Cheeked parrots has few predators. Most of the attacks on parrots are unsuccessful. One predator of the Green Cheeked parrot is a  mammal called the False Vampire (Brightsmith 2012,
2).  The False Vampire is a type of bat.  The only time the parrots can be susceptible to the False Vampire bat is at night time, and even then its still hard for the bat to find the parrot.  During the day an Ornate Hawk-Eagle hunts the Green Cheeked parrot (Brightsmith 2012, 3).  The Green Cheeked parrots live next to other birds too, so when the Ornate Hawk-Eagle comes down to attack, the flock disperses, causing the predator to be alone and no parrots to be eaten. This is a picture of a Green Cheeked parrot in it's preferred natural habitat (Brightsmith 2012, 4). A major area of where the Green Cheeked parrots are found is located in the forests of South America (Anonymous H 2012, 1).  The range of the forests starts in eastern Bolivia, then to northwestern Argentina, and then to Paraguay.  Also shown below is a picture of the map range.

As I have stated before, the Green Cheeked parrot has green colored cheeks, the tops of their heads are a dark grayish color, and it has a full maroon tail (Lara Vries 2012, 2).  Their cheeks are small to average, and the bird is usually around ten inches long (Lara Vries 2012, 1).  On average, the parrot can weigh between 60 to 90 grams.  Also when they are first born they weigh 5 grams (Jenkins 2012, 1).  Then when they grow up on average they weigh 2-3 ounces (Oliver 2012, 1)   They can be as tall as a foot or a little more, and they can live as old as 25 years or more before they pass away (Anonymous E 2012, 5).  The parrot is a slim animal.  It has a black beak that can be a little bit bigger on a male Green Cheeked Parrot.  They have brown eyes and on the eye they have wide white eye rings.  The parrot's ear coverts can be light gray or grayish.  In some Green Cheeked parrots they have greenish-blue right above their eyes, and behind their head as well. Their chest is grayish, while the whole body is a dark green. "The flight feathers are cobalt blue, and many Green Cheeks also have blue under their tail.  Green Cheeks  have full maroon bellies, or little to no maroon at all on their bellies, or no maroon at all on there bellies.  Their feet are brownish with some shades or lines of pink, and if you look at an up close picture of the parrot you can see the pink easily. It has different shades of dark nails, and in general it is a very colorful bird.  As you can see in the picture below it has small legs and feet.  The Green Cheeked parrot is considered an average sized bird because its not a huge bird and its not a small or tiny bird, like a hummingbird.

There are an abundant amount of Green Cheeked parrots in South America according to the map above.  To be specific they live natively in Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina (Anonymous A 2012, 2).   Connecting all the countries together would show there range, like in the map above. By the time a Green Cheek grows to be a year old it can mate with other Green Cheeks (Anonymous A 2012, 1). During that time the parrot's behavior is a bit strange.  It likes to bite on things more than usual. When they mate together they can have four to six eggs (Anonymous A 2012, 2).  The eggs can hatch around 24 hours later.  When they are in the wild they like to eat seeds, fruits, nuts, and vegetables off of trees (Anonymous A 2012, 3).  When they are being owned as a pet they eat organic pellets, fresh fruits, vegetables, table scraps, seeds, nuts, and more (Womach 2012, 1).  A major part of the Green Cheeked parrot's diet is to eat off trees, only sometimes they come down and eat off something else.  As I said before they travel in groups called flocks (Brightsmith 2012, 4).  Sticking together is the only defensive way to not get picked off by predators (Liz Wilson 2012, 1).  If they were to live alone they would most likely be extinct or very close to it. They do not have any unique adaptations to survive in the wild, and they do not attract a lot of predators because the Green Cheeked parrot is a quiet bird when it is calm.  The Green Cheeked parrots are almost immune to every disease they come across, and its so strong its almost unrealistic (Howard Voren 2012, 1). Green Cheeked parrots are so resistant to diseases that they can even carry a disease that does not affect them.  This is extreme because if they still have the disease that does not affect them at all, they can give to some other animal and make it very sick.

The Green Cheeked Parrot is a endangered species (Anonymous C 2012, 1).  Their native population in Mexico is around 1000 to 2000 and its decreasing.  They are illegal to capture or hunt now, but they are still illegally exported from Mexico and South America mainly to the United States.  This is because tons of people in the United States love to have a Green Cheeked parrot as a pet (Indiviglio 2012, 1).  They like it as a pet because its very playful, intelligent, and has a big personality (Anonymous D 2012, 6).  This is one of the main threats of why they are an endangered species (Anonymous C 2012, 1).  Also deforestation is occurring in their preferred habitat causing them to go down in numbers. Destroying their habitat is extremely bad for the Green Cheeked parrots and other birds too, because it destroys there homeland for a very long time. If the demand of these birds in the United States was not so high they would probably not be a endangered species.  In the wild their population is declining at a fast rate, but no one seems to care because they still are illegally taken captive and being transported (Anonymous D 2012, 3).  This probably still occurs because of all the profit the people are making when they sell them.  The regular price could have been reasonable, making average profit, but now that its illegal it probably went way up.  Money is everything to some people, so they don't mind risking a whole species just to sell the parrots.  It just proves that people are illegally abducting Green Cheeked parrots because in some places what used to have at least some Green Cheeked parrots, now completely have none (Anonymous D 2012, 4).

Current research concludes that if the people in Mexico and South America do not stop illegally capturing and transporting them to the United States or anywhere else, the Green Cheeked parrots will eventually go extinct (Anonymous D 2012, 3).  It also states that the people in Mexico and South America are probably greedy because they can't help themselves.  Meaning, that they don't care if the parrot goes extinct or that if there endangering them.  All they care about is how much money they can make by illegally selling the Green Cheeked parrot.

I have  personal connection to a Green Cheeked parrot.  My old neighbor used to have one and it was very cool and fun to play with.  It likes to meet new people, so when I walked in it would go on my shoulder and crawl everywhere.  It lived with other birds, but this parrot was unique because it had a personality like no other bird I have ever seen.  It would bite me sometimes if I ran away from it, and one of the coolest things about it was that it could mimic the word pizza and a few other words.


Conclusion

Above all, the Green Cheeked parrot is very interesting, but sadly it is still endangered and decreasing in population. The only way to stop this is to cut off the illegal trading from Mexico and South America to the United States.  If this could happen the species would be growing at a outstanding rate.  I know that it might make them lots of money to sell these parrots, but I think they should do it less, even if they could make tons of money.  Besides that the Green Cheeked parrots are unique and special in their own way.  I know anyone would love to see and play with one of these parrots mainly because they're not like any other parrot.

Bibliography:
1. Anonymous 2012 <http://www.conurequeen.com/green-cheek-conure.html>

2. Anonymous A 2012<http://www.birdtricks.com/Conures/green-cheek-info.html>

3. Anonymous B 2012<http://library.thinkquest.org/07aug/01732/parrot.html>

4. Anonymous C 2012<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-crowned_Amazon>

5. Anonymous D 2012<http://a-z-animals.com/blog/under-threat-the-green-cheeked-parrot/>

6. Anonymous E 2012<http://www.parrotsecrets.com/Green-Cheek-Conure/about-green-cheek-conure.php>

7. Anonymous F 2012<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green-cheeked_Parakeet> 

8. Anonymous G 2012<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parrot#Origins_and_evolution>

9. Anonymous H 2012<http://www.ask.com/q/What-kind-of-habitat-does-the-Green-Cheeked-Parrot-live-in>

10. Brightsmith 2012 <http://vtpb-www2.cvm.tamu.edu/brightsmith/What%20eats%20parrots.htm>  

11. Carlos 2007 <http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1519-69842007000200009  

12. Ethan 2012 <http://tinyurl.com/7lxfmdo>   

13. Indiviglio 2012 <http://tinyurl.com/7gh2a2g>  

14. Jenkins 2012 <http://www.parrots.org/index.php/encyclopedia/captivestatus/green_cheeked_conure/>  

15. Oliver 2012 <https://sites.google.com/site/courtneyscritters/green-cheeked-conure>
  

16. Renner 2012 <http://www.mickaboo.com/newsletter/oct10/AvianScience.html> 

17. Rosella 2012 <http://parrotfacts.net/green-cheek-conure/>  

18. Womach 2012 <http://www.birdtricks.com/Conures/green-cheek-cages.html>  

19. Wilson 2012 <http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-species/profiles/green-cheeked-conure-2.aspx>  

20. Vries 2012 <http://gcch.tripod.com/faq/faq1.html> 

21. Vries (A) 2012 <http://gcch.tripod.com/faq/faq2.html>  














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