The high-pitched squealing of Black-headed Parrots echoes in the flooded forests of the northern Amazon in Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and northeastern Brazil.
By Rex Graham
The forests are incredibly diverse in plant life and the intelligence of these nomadic parrots undoubtedly enable them to exploit a wide variety of edible opportunities.
Black-headed Parrots are more than flying foodies. They may medicate like pharmacists, favoring nuts, seeds, flowers and some leaves, many of which contain chemicals toxic to pests. A meal could possibly have medicinal potential.
Toxic Black-headed Parrot Food
Of course, they eat delicious leche nuts and the highly edible fruit of palms, fleshy coated seeds of Clusia tree, and canopy trees such as Dialium guianense. However, they also consume the poisonous, cyanic seeds of a latex evergreen tree called Hevea benthamiana. They consume other seeds that contain compounds known to be toxic to insects, worms and other pests.
Luckily for these birds, vast areas of habitat remain. The nests of wild birds in holes of trees are poached to supply bird fanciers in Venezuela, where they are very commonly held in capitivity, However, this species is not a glamour parrot of the worldwide illegal pet trade, according to Handbook of the Birds of the World.
The species is a commonly seen parrot on birdwatching tours in its home range.