Also called the "Yellow-headed Amazon" this Mexican parrot has long been a popular pet, prized for its "talking" and "singing". This led to trappers stealing young birds from nests wherever they could find them. In two decades, the population fell from 700,000, in the mid-1970s, to only 7,000! This decline continues, worsened by habitat destruction. However, this species breeds well in captivity, with many hatched each year. The breeding pair at the DWA have so far reared two broods of chicks in full public view.
Once nearly extinct in the US, the Roseate spoonbill now flourishes along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana, and also breeds in Florida. It remains widespread in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Other spoonbills are found in many parts of the Old World, but they are all white. As with flamingos and Scarlet ibises, the brilliant colors are dependent upon what they eat. Young birds have fully feathered heads but become bald after several years.
In zoos, colonies of this species are like yeast -- a few sent to another zoo soon reproduce to the carrying capacity of their exhibit, and more colonies can be established from there. From a few importations more than 30 years ago, there are now more than 6,000 of these fruit-eating bats distributed among more than 30 North American collections. This is a widespread species, found from Mexico to Paraguay. In the Mayan epic, the Popol Vuh, a bat, Zotz, stole the head of the Hero God Hunahpu for the Gods of the Underworld to use in a ballgame.