Red-Crowned Parrot  LbNA # 13000 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateJan 2 2005
LocationMission, TX
Found By
Last Found
Hike Distance?

Red-Crowned Parrot

Parrot Letterbox

Placed By: Birds of a Feather- Change _at_ to @ for valid email
Placement Date: 01/02/2005
Nearest Large Town: Mission, TX
County: Hildago County
Difficulty Rating: 2 - What does this mean?
Terrain Rating: 2 - What does this mean?
Recommended Ink: green and red
Status: Alive on 01/02/2005

The Red-Crowned Parrot letterbox is located in the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, which also contains the headquarters of the World Birding Center.

This parrot tends to select areas of tropical deciduous forest, palm forest, and occasionally open pine-oak woodland in the lowlands. It is also found in riparian areas, sometimes on ravines. It requires large, old trees with suitable cavities for nesting sites. The breeding season is from March-May, when pairs often nest close together in loose colonies, if nesting sites are found. A clutch of two-five eggs is incubated for 25-31 days and parents will raise only one brood per nesting season. Principal food items are tropical fruits, new leaf shoots, seeds, vines and epiphytes. Water needs are met almost exclusively from its diet of juicy fruits. In the non-breeding season, it is nomadic, moving to higher elevations in large flocks.

During the last 20 years it has declined very rapidly in the wild due in part to habitat destruction, but principally to heavy exploitation of live birds for the domestic and international pet trade. Human interference seems to be the only factor repressing the recuperation of this otherwise rigorous species. It is well established in captivity and in some cases, escaped and released individuals have adapted to woody areas of major cities in the USA, creating populations far outside their natural range.

Many feral populations are well established, showing steadily increasing numbers since the 1970s, in Texas, Florida, California, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and various parts of Mexico including Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. Feral populations that reside in cities (eg., Los Angeles) select areas with large trees like arboretums, which supply both nesting sites and food.

From Mission, take Hwy 83 west to Bentsen Palm Drive, then travel South to the World Birding Center Headquarters at Bentsen State Park. Park across the street to the left of the center.
Admission: Adults $5.00, Seniors $3 (TX residents age 65 on 9/1/95 or after), Children (under 12) Free, Free for Parklands Pass Holders, Free for Texas State Parks Pass Holders.

The gate to the park is closed to public traffic. So you will have to walk, ride a bike ( bikes can be rented at the office), or take the Tram that stops at various places in the park.

General Location plotted via Texas Letterboxing Atlas
From the gate go around the curve past the past the maintenance area. On the left you will find a trail head. The tram will stop here. If you are riding bikes, please leave them at the bike rack. Walk down the trail till you reach a fork in the road with a post with a left arrow. Walk 11 steps from this post down the smaller trail to the left and you will see post #2. Continue down the path until you find post #5. Walk 3 steps past the post. From the path, walk 6 steps into the grass and look behind the large fallen tree and you will find what you seek.

NOTE: Before you begin letterboxing, please read and agree to the following waiver of responsibility and disclaimer.

Also always take adequate precautions (such as checking with a stick and/or wearing gloves) before reaching into dark crevasses and holes in the wild.